By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
Grant funding provided by the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Program (AMWWP) has been awarded to a number of southern Alberta municipalities in recent weeks.
The AMWWP provides cost-shared funding to eligible municipalities and are used to help build and upgrade municipal facilities for water supply and treatment, and wastewater treatment and disposal.
Among several successful municipal applicants in the south were the Towns of Coaldale, Picture Butte, Taber and Vauxhall, as well as the Villages of Stirling and Barons.
MLA for Taber-Warner, Grant Hunter said the investments in the south’s critical water and wastewater infrastructure, “is a foundational piece of supporting economic growth and development across southern Alberta, and Canada’s Premier Food Corridor,” along Highway 3.
The Town of Coaldale received $525,000 to go towards engineering costs for a potable water reservoir pump station. With growth in the town on the rise, the core infrastructure project is, “vital for keeping up with Coaldale’s growth rate and ensuring sufficient storage capacity for both fire and (the Town’s) ability to sustain pressure throughout the water distribution system.”
The Village of Barons will also receive $1,314,750 in funding which will go towards the wastewater lift station and trunk main replacement project which has an estimated cost of $1,753,000. The Village of Stirling officials were presented with a cheque for $2.1 million on April 26 to cover 71 per cent of the $3,213,000 wastewater lift station and forcemain upgrades. Village Mayor, Trevor Lewington said the grant funding will push the village forward and cited capacity limitations of core infrastructure as a barrier to attracting growth and investment.
The Town of Picture Butte will receive a substantial grant of $8,645,695.27 which will help fund the Town’s Wastewater Lagoon and Treatment Upgrades. In 2018, Alberta Environment mandated that the Town conduct a lagoon study to determine whether the Town’s treatment processes would comply with new regulations, which was completed in 2020. CAO for the Town, Keith Davis noted, “the study demonstrated that our treatment process would not meet the current regulations and would need upgrades. If our treatment process needed upgrades we were also mandated by Alberta Environment to produce a detailed design for the required upgrades.” The design was completed and submitted to Alberta Environment in 2022. Once approved, the Town can move forward on establishing an outline for a construction timeline. The funding news was made public on April 19 and will cover nearly 63 per cent of the total project cost which was estimated to be $13.7 million.
Given the recentness of the funding announcement, groundbreaking and estimated completion dates for the project will be forthcoming. The detailed design was completed in 2022 and submitted to Alberta Environment, and is still waiting on their approval for the project and to outline construction timelines.
Other approvals for the 2023 budget cycle include $1,233,520 in approved funding for the Town of Taber’s $3.4 million wastewater treatment plant secondary clarifier upgrades project and $2.3 million (69 per cent) of the Town of Vauxhall’s $3.3 million sanitary trunk main replacement.
The Town of Nobleford recently were recipients of AMWWP funding awarded as part of last year’s budget cycle which allocated $2,366,966 toward the Nobleford Raw Water Storage Reservoir Reconstruction project which was valued at $3,792,000 at the time of grant approval. The Town of Nobleford hopes to see this projected completed by fall 2023.