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LADYSMITH, September 30, 2016 –Ladysmith has been awarded a grant of more than $8.8 million for a new water filtration system, a key priority in Council’s plans for a strong, healthy and vibrant community.
The grant, the largest of 35 grants awarded to B.C. communities last week, is part of the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund designed to improve community and waste water systems across B.C. The Government of Canada is providing $5.3 million, and the Province of B.C. is contributing $3.5 million. The announcement was made at the annual Union of BC Municipalities convention in Victoria.
“We are very grateful that this significant funding has come through,” said Mayor Aaron Stone. “Council’s vision for a vibrant and healthy community is built on providing the services our community relies on, and creating cost certainty for homeowners and businesses looking to invest in the future of Ladysmith.”
The new water filtration system will satisfy the immediate need of meeting Water Quality Standards established by Island Heath (VIHA). Together with the newly-opened Waste Water Treatment Plant, it offers an updated base of water and sewer infrastructure to serve residents and businesses in Ladysmith, Stz’uminus First Nation and neighbouring communities for decades to come.
Mayor Stone attributes the Town’s success in its funding application in large part to the leverage provided though the strong relationship between Ladysmith and the Stz’uminus First Nation as outlined in the Naut’sa Mawt (Working Together) Community Accord. The accord is supported by a joint Memorandum of Understanding which outlines common initiatives for the two communities. Through the recently signed Water and Sewer Services Agreement in particular, Ladysmith will provide sewage services and clean water to our Stz’uminus neighbours.
“It is well understood that there is an urgent need to replace aging systems, pipes, roads and other municipal infrastructure across Canada. We in Ladysmith are very fortunate to have received such generous grants to upgrade our water and sewage treatment systems,” Mayor Stone added. “This leaves room within our financial plan for us to tackle other infrastructure projects without placing an undue tax burden on our residents and businesses.”
To comply with changes to the Town’s Permit to Operate a Water Supply System, Ladysmith’s water filtration plant must be in operation by 2018. The Town already has a chlorination treatment system for its water supply. In addition to the grant, the construction will be funded from development cost charges, borrowing and water parcel taxes.
The most recent upgrade to the Town’s Waste Water Treatment Plant, to secondary level treatment, cost a total of $17.9 million, and was funded through a grant of $5.2 million from UBCM, a combination of low-cost borrowing and grant for a further $11 million in Green Municipal Funds, and the Town’s sewer reserves.
Click here for more details of the funding announcement.
Aaron Stone, Mayor Guillermo Ferrero, City Manager