The French Creek Pollution Control Centre will undergo expansion and odour control improvements. (PQB News file photo)

The French Creek Pollution Control Centre will undergo expansion and odour control improvements. (PQB News file photo)

RDN seeks federal funding to help with multimillion-dollar public works projects

Regional district applies for infrastructure grants for work in Nanoose Bay, French Creek

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to apply for Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program funds to help finance two major projects.

The first project is the French Creek Pollution Control Centre expansion and odour control upgrade, which will cost $62.3 million. It treats wastewater from about 28,000 people and business in Qualicum Beach, Parksville, French Creek, Pacific Shores, Surfside and Barclay Crescent.

The project was started in 2011 and it focuses on expanding the facilities to meet growing demands of the increasing population, to renew aging infrastructure and to improve odour control and environmental performance.

Two public information sessions were held in 2019 and last year between March and April tree clearing and grubbing of the expansion site was conducted.

The grant application planned will include three distinct scope areas, ranging from $12.7 to $18.7 million, for a total of $46.4 million. Staff indicated this will provide the funding agency the opportunity to choose to fund one or more of these scope areas.

READ MORE: RDN targets grants for major projects in Nanoose Bay, French Creek and Whiskey Creek

The second project is the Nanoose Bay pump station and forcemain upgrade. The facility has been in service for 30 years and requires upgrading of worn and corroded piping, valves, pump electrical and control infrastructure and improve isolation for confided space entry by operations personnel during maintenance.

The forcemain and gravity sewers also needs to be replaced as there have been multiple pipeline failures in the 3.2-kilometre sewer system that resulted in 10 spills that were reported to the B.C. Ministry of Environment since October 2011. The total budget specified in the grant application is estimated at $5.6 million.

Staff indicated that without grant funding, the RDN would finance both projects on its own.

“Obtaining grant funding has the potential to significantly reduce the financial impact of these projects on RDN residents,” staff indicated in a report. “However, it should be noted these grant funding streams are very competitive and demand tends to exceed the available funds.”

— NEWS Staff

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