The City of Lloydminster leaps closer to the construction of a new wastewater treatment facility after inking a funding agreement with the federal and provincial governments.
During the announcement at City Hall on Thursday, Mayor Gerald Aalbers shared his sense of relief after the project has been in the works since the current council was elected approximately three years ago.
“We now have the ability to move forward to plan and build a project that’s not only going to serve our community today [0r only for 10 or 20 years] we have plans for this project to be expanded down the road.”
The approximately $81.5 million structure aims to meet the needs of Lloydminster’s growing population, protect regional waterways while preparing for the future by meeting the federal and provincial standards along with adhering to environmental standards.
The Government of Canada is contributing $24.2 million for the project through the Canada Infrastructure plan and the New Build Canada Fund. The Government of Alberta and the Government of Saskatchewan are providing $12.7 million and $12.1 million, respectively, in order for the facility to be built. The City of Lloydminster will fork over the remaining $32.5 million plus any additional costs.
The new facility will be close to the City’s existing lagoons in order to create a new wastewater treatment system. The City’s current plant will be integrated into the new system by serving as storage during heavy rainfall and for sludge needing long-term digestion. Mayor Aalbers hopes to have shovels in the ground early next year once some basic engineering has been completed.
“The project will be built as we move forward and engineered rather than spending the traditional year and a half doing engineering and things like that. It’s a concept that has worked in many different places in Alberta and throughout Canda, the Integrated Project Delivery Model, so it’s something a little different as we move forward.”
With talks of the new wastewater treatment plant assisting surrounding communities such as Blackfoot, Mayor Aalbers says these conversations helped the City propel closer to the funding agreement.
“That was critical for the funding of this project was telling the governments we wanted to work with our neighbours and this is a project that encompasses not just the city because [working with our regional partners] is so important and we’ve heard that time after time from the governments and we want to continue to foster that.”
The project will be constructed adjacent from the current wastewater treatment plant in the northeast section of Lloydminster. The Mayor says Council will be discussing the next step moving forward in upcoming council meetings.