BONNYVILLE – Infrastructure projects in the Bonnyville-Cold Lake region received a helping hand from the provincial government.
Through the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP), the MD of Bonnyville was granted $1.51-million for a new potable water reservoir in Ardmore and $1.19-million for a new potable water reservoir in Fort Kent. The City of Cold Lake received $5.8-million for their wastewater treatment facility upgrades.
Elizabeth Métis Settlement also received a provincial grant of $2.07-million to regrade a gravel bus route and Fishing Lake Métis Settlement was given around $874,000 for a bridge replacement.
According to MD Reeve Greg Sawchuk, the two potable water reservoirs have already been completed and they plan to use the funds toward other water projects within the municipality.
“We’ve got a lot of drainage issues, it could be used toward that or toward the surveys and assessments going out there for distribution for water to places like Cherry Grove,” he noted, adding regardless of where the dollars go, it's critical for future projects in the MD.
“The infrastructure money provided by the government will ensure the sustainability of our water infrastructure for years to come. I’m happy it also helps put Albertans back to work during these tough economic times.”
In a press release, Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA David Hanson said, “These shovel ready projects are all part of the greater economic recovery plan we have put together. It not only will support long-term economic growth, but also provides immediate jobs. These core municipal infrastructure projects are what Albertans rely on in their communities.”
The money the City of Cold Lake received will be going toward their wastewater treatment facility since the current lagoon system has reached its capacity, stated Mayor Craig Copeland.
“We had a little pilot plan all winter long down at the wastewater plant, or the lagoons, and the new technology proved itself. This money is going to go towards building a new wastewater management facility for Cold Lake residents and also MD residents who (use it),” he added.
Although the city doesn’t know what the final price tag will be, Copeland believes it will be less than the $30 to $40-million originally forecast.
Copeland offered his thanks to the province for their support.
“It’s going to be a great project and we’re really appreciative of the province in providing the money.”
The provincial government has announced roughly $50-million in additional STIP funding across the province to support almost 70 new projects and create over 475 jobs.