With the deadline set by the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA) to have a new Wastewater Treatment Plant in by July 1 fast approaching the City is now looking at interim options.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says there has been no funding allocated by either the Saskatchewan or the Alberta governments for the $80 million project as of yet, so the city must look at other ways to meet the requirements set out by the WSA. One of the options brought up at the Governance and Priorities Committee meeting was a $3 million desludging of the lagoon, which was not previously budgeted.
“We were hoping that we didn’t have to borrow any money this year,” says Mayor Aalbers, adding that it “may be a reality to try and show good faith to the provinces and to the federal government to show we’re trying to do what we can with the limited resources we have.”
Mayor Aalbers says that option will be seriously discussed before a decision is made.
“We certainly have the ability to borrow that $3 million but we’ll discuss that at council before that option comes forward and it will be seriously discussed as to what options we have to pay for it.”
However, for the time being Council is planning to request another extension for the deadline.
“That will be the next step, as well, for the June council meeting will be to make a formal request to extend, to send a letter to the Minister of Environment in Saskatchewan who is also in charge of the Water Security Agency that we would have an exemption.”
Mayor Aalbers adds that a request for an extension would have been needed even if the funding was in place because it would be years before the new plant would be in operation.
The next council meeting is on June 12.