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Monday, December 16, 2019

Owen Sound To Seek Grant Dollars For Sewage Pump Station Project

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Council to vote on recommendation to apply to federal/provincial grant program to cover portion of $1.96-million cost.

Owen Sound is hoping to take advantage of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help finance a new sewage pumping station.

City council will vote on a staff recommendation at tonight's meeting to apply to the Green Infrastructure Stream of the federal/provincial funding program for the $1.96-million replacement of the East Bayshore Sewage Pumping station.

According to a city staff report, the sewage pumping station upgrades are part of the city's 2020 capital spending plan and will be covered by debenture. 

The Green Infrastructure Stream dollars would allow the city to limit the amount it has to fund by debenture. If approved, the grant would cover just over $1.3-million of the total project cost. If financing the entire project without the grant money, councillors heard during budget talks the annual repayment amount for the debenture would be just over $229,000 funded by wastewater rates.

Owen Sound's Director of Public Works and Engineering Dennis Kefalas says in a report two existing sewage pump stations need to be replaced along East Bayshore Road and the plan is to build a new one that can adequately service the area. 

In an interview, Kefalas says modern sewage pump stations have a useful life of about 50 years.

The Green Infrastructure Stream is a joint federal/provincial grant program under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. 

Kefalas' report explains the first grant intake will prioritize projects that address critical health and safety issues associated with water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. Specifically, eligible projects must increase capacity to treat and/or manage wastewater and stormwater or increase access to potable water.

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker's office published details about the grant program in October explaining applications were now being accepted from communities in Ontario with populations of less than 100,000 people.

The statement from MPP Walker explains the initial intake of the Green Infrastructure Stream targets projects in communities where it is needed most -- with about $200-million available in federal and provincial funding. A maximum of $3-million in total is eligible per project.

If Owen Sound were unsuccessful in this round of funding, the statement from MPP Walker did note the province anticipates launching an additional intake of the Green Infrastructure Stream in 2020 that could focus on other emerging priorities for water, wastewater and stormwater projects.

The current grant intake application deadline is Jan. 22, 2020, according to a release from the Ontario government.

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