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.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

The RDC Queens picked up an extra special victory on home ice… Continue reading

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read