Revelstoke’s costly wastewater treatment upgrades could get a financial break with grant application

Funding from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program could help pay for majority of Phase 1 project costs, result in amendment to proposed Development Cost Charges.

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The City of Revelstoke sewage lagoon in the industrial park area in Southside. Photo: file

Potential grant funding could help offset the enormous costs associated with updating Revelstoke’s aging sewer infrastructure.

City of Revelstoke staff are recommending submission of a grant funding application through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Green Infrastructure: Environmental Quality Substream in the amount of just under $10 million. That amount would cover approximately 73% of the estimated costs associated with Phase 1 of the sewer upgrade project. The total estimated cost for Phase 1 is $13.6 million. The report recommends the remaining $3.6 million be paid for through city funds.

In a report director of engineering Mike Thomas said staff see the program as an opportunity to fund a portion of the planning, design and construction costs associated with upgrades. Phase 1 of the project would meet the current Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations which have higher standards than the city’s current permit.

It is unclear if the city would receive any funding if a decision is made to go ahead with the application. In his report, Thomas notes that in discussions with the province a grant exceeding $5 million is unlikely, and application requirements increase as the proposed project value increases. Despite this, staff are still recommending submission of a grant application based on estimated costs associated with Phase 1.

Thomas said staff are continuing to follow council’s direction to reopen the Liquid Waste Management Process, whether the grant application is successful or not.

“Planning for, and gaining the necessary approvals and designing the ingrastructure to support growth is a priority of staff based on council’s objectives,” said Thomas.

Staff also are also recommending a minor amendment to the proposed Development Cost Charge Bylaw if the grant application is successful.

The city’s committee of the whole will discuss the proposed grant application and monies from the city funds to pay for Phase 1 of the wastewater treatment upgrades at the committee of the whole meeting scheduled for this Thursday, August 16.

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