$37 million wastewater plant proposed for site north of Swan Lake | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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$37 million wastewater plant proposed for site north of Swan Lake

From left to right: Regional district director Mike Macnabb, Chief Byron Louis, Spallumcheen Mayor Janice Brown and regional district director Bob Fleming pose for this submitted photo.
August 27, 2018 - 4:00 PM

NORTH OKANAGAN - Three North Okanagan local governments are working together on a proposed plan to build a $36.9 million wastewater recovery system.

The Regional District of North Okanagan, the Township of Spallumcheen and the Okanagan Indian Band announced in a press release today, Aug. 27, the three parties had signed a Memorandum of Understanding towards moving ahead with the construction of a wastewater recovery system. The release says a wastewater recovery system would provide "significant environmental and economic benefits for all three jurisdictions."

The proposed $36.9 million North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project facility would serve residents and businesses in the Electoral Areas 'B' and 'C' as well as Spallumcheen’s industrial area, and parts of the Okanagan Indian Band reserve north of Swan Lake. The proposed wastewater system could potentially be built on a 2.5-acre site recently purchased by Spallumcheen on L & A Cross Road.

The three partners involved will now apply for a $24.3 million grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The shortfall will be made up by the regional district borrowing $5.2 million, Spallumcheen's $1.5 million in reserves and a $5.9 million Okanagan Basin Water Board Sewerage Facilities Assistance Grant.

The three players say the wastewater plant is contingent on the grant funding and also on community support. The regional district will soon launch a petition so residents and businesses within the proposed service area can show their support for the borrowing of $5.2 million.

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis says in the release that more opportunities arise when small governments collaborate together and stop competing for provincial and federal grant money. Louis also states the partnership is "critical to advancing the environmental protection of our lake and our drinking water."

Regional district board chair Bob Fleming says the project offers many potential benefits for residents, businesses and the environment.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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