Budget chill freezes sewer line

The Alberta government’s tightening of funding faucets is expected to delay completion of a much-needed regional sewer line between Olds and Red Deer.

The Alberta government’s tightening of funding faucets is expected to delay completion of a much-needed regional sewer line between Olds and Red Deer.

The province’s changing economic fortunes means the 83-km line will likely be completed in 2013-2014, about two years behind schedule.

It was hoped the $107 million cost of the line could be divided up roughly into thirds, but the province has signalled to communities involved in the project not to expect the entire $35 million second instalment, Dale Withage, chief administrative officer South Red Deer Regional Wastewater Commission, said on Friday.

The commission is now looking for ways to break up the project into smaller components or spread funding over a longer period to keep the project moving ahead as efficiently as possible.

Withage said the commission may stretch the cost of a lift station over a couple of funding cycles, rather than asking for all the money up front. Also, pipeline could be put in the ground, later adding other components needed to move the sewage down the line.

“We’re looking at those kinds of things to see how feasible it is to move things around. We’re throwing around all these different options.

“We’re going to have to come up with something less, that’s for sure.”

The commission is also concerned that the province has not laid out a clear funding timeline or how much funding will be coming in the next round of announcements.

Commission members don’t want to spend a lot of time carefully restructuring the next phase only to be told that further cuts are needed.

However, there is only so much the project can be delayed. Both Innisfail and Olds are struggling to treat their sewage, he said.

“(The treatment plants) reached the end of their life a few years ago. They’re definitely under the gun.”

Work is well underway to install 25 km of pipeline between Innisfail and Penhold. A $5-million lift station to move the sewage down the line will be tendered next year and it is hoped the entire project can be completed by the end of next year or early 2011.

Land acquisition for Phase 2, a line from Penhold to Red Deer’s wastewater treatment plant, has already begun. The commission also plans to ask the province for approval to start land acquisition for the third phase, the line from Innisfail to Olds.

The Olds-to-Red Deer line comprises the southern leg of a major provincially-endorsed effort to regionalize wastewater treatment in Central Alberta.

A northern leg would extend to the Lacombe area and a western leg would go to Sylvan Lake. Funding has not yet been announced for the other legs.

The total cost of the project has been estimated from $285 million to as high as $395 million.


Just Posted

Red Deer church donates to Safe Harbour

It was all about helping those in need at Safe Harbour in… Continue reading

Former firefighter with PTSD sues Syncrude over suspended benefits, dismissal

CALGARY — A lawsuit filed by a former firefighter and paramedic against… Continue reading

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

HALIFAX — Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi may have hoped to quietly disappear from… Continue reading

Democrats aren’t buying Trump’s shutdown-ending ‘compromise’

WASHINGTON — In a bid to break the shutdown stalemate, President Donald… Continue reading

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Curtain rising Sunday night on total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The celestial curtain will be rising soon on… Continue reading

At 30-day mark, shutdown logjam remains over border funding

WASHINGTON — Thirty days into the partial government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans… Continue reading

Holocaust victims buried after remains found in UK museum

LONDON — The remains of six unidentified Holocaust victims were buried in… Continue reading

Photos: Rocks fly at 37th Annual Oilmen’s Bonspiel

Twenty-nine teams gathered at the Pidherney Curling Centre in Red Deer for… Continue reading

Death toll reaches 79 in Mexico fuel pipeline fire horror

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — People in the town where a gasoline explosion killed… Continue reading

Mexican pipeline explosion kills 71, leaves nightmare of ash

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — Gerardo Perez returned Saturday to the scorched field in… Continue reading

Tall timber towers taking root in Canada as builders look to go green

TORONTO — Six years ago architect Michael Green took the stage at… Continue reading

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Most Read