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Red Deer city council to cover $250,000 shortfall in cost of new residuals treatment plant

Red Deer’s $32-million new residuals plant has gone over-budget by $250,000.
The new residuals management plant, built beside Red Deer’s water treatment system, was to begin operating last spring to ensure better quality water is returned into the river. (Contributed photo).

Red Deer’s $32-million new residuals plant has gone over-budget by $250,000.

But Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston put it into perspective on Monday, saying that this is less than a one per cent exceedance.

“It speaks to tremendous work by our utilities people to keep the project on track,” he added.

City council authorized on Monday that the $250,000 come out of a utilities reserve fund, so will not be added to the tax load for Red Deerians.

The provincial government had previously ordered that Red Deer’s residuals plant be built to removing chemically coated sediments before returning treated waste-water back to the Red Deer River. This will lessen impacts to fish habitat and maintain water quality.

The $250,000 will close the project and ensure these objectives are met.

Council was told that not funding the final costs to close the project may introduce regulatory risk to the city’s provincial water licence and complicate the efficient operations of the Water Treatment Plant.