The City of Lloydminster now has until December 31, 2020 to complete upgrades to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Council had asked for more time to have a new facility in place, but in a letter WSA President Susan Ross, says, “at this time, Water Security Agency is not in a position to extend the City of Lloydminster’s permit for an additional ten years as requested. However , I can advise that with in a revised Permit to Operate, it will be requested that the City of Lloydminster complete upgrades to the wastewater treatment facility by December 31,2020.”
She also says, “The financial challenges of constructing sewage treatment facilities are recognized, however, meeting current regulations and providing wastewater treatment comparable to other communities in the province remains important in delivering effective water and environmental protection.”
Mayor Gerald Aalbers says, “I would optimistically like to say that we will be well underway towards meeting our goal in three years. To have it done in three years, I wish I was that optimistic.”
Aalbers says he believes the $3 million desludging project did show a sign of good faith to the provincial government.
“I think we demonstrated to the Government of Saskatchewan through the Water Security Agency that we are prepared to do what we can do with the resources we have to move this forward. It’s a step in the right direction. It doesn’t solve the problem, they’ve acknowledged that but they also realize more needs to be done,” says Aalbers.
The City has been trying to secure funding from the provincial and federal governments for a new facility that is estimated to cost $80 million. Recently the city received $6 million towards the project from the Alberta Government, but has otherwise been unsuccessful.
Whether or not money will be set aside for the facility in the upcoming budget has yet to be decided but seems unlikely according to the Mayor.
“We would be looking at borrowing that money if we need to and we’ll take whatever measures we need to at that time. I want to be optimistic and say we’ll set money aside that we have, but at the same time we still have to operate the city.”
“Lloydminster City Council and Administration have been working together to build the business case and elevate our needs to the respective levels of government,” says Aalbers.
He adds, “whatever solution we ultimately choose must account for our growing population, current and projected regulatory requirements.”
Aalbers says Council will be continuing to lobby the governments for money for the facility.