Regional District of Nanaimo endorses projects for potential federal and provincial grants

NANAIMO – The Regional District of Nanaimo prioritized water and sewer-related projects for potential grants.

The Regional District of Nanaimo is hoping the Canadian and provincial governments will grant money for a number of water and sewer-related projects.

The governments are providing $373.6 million in Clean Water and Wastewater Fund money which they will dole out to water, stormwater and wastewater infrastructure projects. A maximum of 83 per cent of the total eligible project cost could be provided, with 50 per cent from federal coffers and 33 per cent from provincial, according to information from the regional district.

The regional district board approved a motion to endorse a number of projects, including upgrades to the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre’s secondary treatment, which sees organisms in wastewater help consume dissolved organics. The district will be looking to pay for components such as tanks and buildings.

Work on the project has already begun and is included in the district’s financial plan with an estimated price tag of $81 million and completion date of 2019. If the project receives a grant, any money would offset that which the regional district will borrow for the project, it said.

The project for the South Wellington area is a study examining a new water service area is estimated to cost $250,000. Design, source supply investigation and engineering would be part of the report.

The project for the Cedar area also relates to planning and design and is estimated to cost more than $1 million. It is related to expansion of that community’s sewer system.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity getting funding for these projects presents … there are real environmental and health benefits to the community and they’re very expensive so any reduction in cost is very helpful to the community,” said Randy Alexander, RDN general manager of regional and community utilities.

Alexander estimates the regional district will find out which projects, if any, are successful by the spring.

Deadline for application is Nov. 23.