$12 mil­lion ap­proved to tear down com­post­ing fa­cil­ity

Piece-by-piece process ex­pected to take months

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS - Jeff LABINE @jef­flabine

The aer­a­tion hall at Ed­mon­ton’s sig­na­ture com­post­ing fa­cil­ity is be­ing scrapped to make way for the much de­layed new anaer­o­bic di­ges­tion fa­cil­ity.

City coun­cil on Tues­day ap­proved a one-time spend­ing in­crease of $12 mil­lion to cover the de­con­struc­tion of the aer­a­tion hall and the south down­load build­ings. The in­crease is not ex­pected to im­pact rates.

Ward 8 Coun. Ben Hen­der­son, chair of the util­ity com­mit­tee, said the de­con­struc­tion was some­thing the city knew was com­ing for a while.

“This gives us per­mis­sion to start tak­ing down the build­ing,” he said. “It is not safe right now. The sooner we can get on it the bet­ter.”

Hen­der­son said the city is hop­ing to sal­vage some of the equip­ment in the old fa­cil­ity and there’s even some dis­cus­sion around putting up some kind of tem­po­rary struc­ture so it can be used in the in­terim. He said this is some­thing that will be worked out over the next few months.

The de­con­struc­tion of the aer­a­tion hall and south down­load build­ing is ex­pected to start this fall and con­tinue through sum­mer 2020.

Ad­min­is­tra­tion told coun­cil the de­con­struc­tion will be done piece-by-piece be­cause that’s the only safe way to do it since crews aren’t able to go into the build­ings.

As for the long-awaited anaer­o­bic di­ges­tion fa­cil­ity, the city is ex­pected to open it in spring next year. The fa­cil­ity, which is meant to ex­pand the city’s abil­ity to process or­gan­ics, was orig­i­nally slated to open in sum­mer 2018. The lat­est fi­nan­cial up­date lists the project as be­ing de­layed 213 per cent.

Mayor Don Ive­son said it is the de­vel­op­ment and de­sign of the project that is be­hind sched­ule.

“We’ve been do­ing a lot of work to make sure that we build the right fa­cil­ity at the right size and in the right place,” he said. “One of the fac­tors in the de­lay is that we’re hav­ing ac­tive con­ver­sa­tions with our neigh­bours about whether we should have 13 dif­fer­ent an­swers to garbage pro­cess­ing or maybe a more in­te­grated ap­proach at the re­gional level. That might mean changes to the scope of the di­gester.”

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