Ponoka’s sewage lagoon upgrade project has received federal and provincial funding.
The governments of Canada and Alberta will each provide up to $240,000 for the project. The Town of Ponoka will contribute the balance of the total eligible project cost of up to $720,000.
“Wastewater treatment upgrades are important behind-the- scenes services that keep our communities healthy, clean and sustainable, Wetaskiwin MP Blaine Calkins announced recently. “It will enhance local facilities and services at a time when the need for economic stimulus is greatest.”
“This joint investment will allow the Town of Ponoka to upgrade its existing wastewater treatment facility and will address the need to raise the lagoon berms to protect against possible flooding,”said Ray Prins, MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka.
Mayor Larry Henkelman said town council rejected the sole bid on the project, a $1.2 million tender from Gabriel Construction Ltd. that came in 62 per cent over the $750,000 budget. Instead, the town will act as project managers and do the work piecemeal. It may take longer but the town will save money.
“Right now our lagoons are good for a population of 7,500 people, the mayor said. “With these improvements, it will be good for a population over 10,000.”
He recognized the work previous councils have done to put Ponoka is a good position for growth. Infrastructure and services must continually grow to meet changing demands and government standards.
“We don’t want to leave future councils in a position that everything has to be replaced or expanded all at once.”
The work required includes the construction of a sewage wet well, building a new lift station, installing lift pumps, raising the concrete berms in cell 4, construction of sludge drying beds and the removal of sludge. The project could take two years to complete.
The governments of Canada and Alberta have taken steps to advance projects and flow money faster for targeted infrastructure projects in Alberta communities in the 2009 and 2010 construction seasons.