Ashcroft’s new Water Treatment Plant got a $5.7 million boost on Friday when MLA Jackie Tegart, on the behalf of the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, announced that the Village’s grant application had been accepted under the New Building Canada Fund’s Small Communities Fund.
Under the infrastructure grant fund, the provincial and federal governments both contribute a third of the the project’s costs, leaving the Village to come up with the remaining $2,862,678. The total cost of the project is expected to be just over $8.5 million.
Present and past Council members, Staff and the Public Works crew were on hand to hear the announcement.
MLA Tegart thanked the Village Council and Staff for submitting an application that both important and well-written, making it an easy pick from among the many applications submited.
She also read out a brief message of congratulations from MP Mark Strahl (Chilliwack-Fraser Valley) who sent his regrets.
“We are proud to invest in projects like the Ashcroft Community Water Treatment Plant that will benefit our community by improving much needed local infrastructure,” he said.
Building the new treatment plant will contribute to the local economy and create jobs, she said.
“These kind of jobs don’t happen without leadership at the local level,” said Tegart.
Plans for the new water treatment plant began under the previous mayor and council and culminated under the current government. Former Mayor Andy Anderson and councilors Alice Durksen and Jerry Fiddick joined current Mayor Jack Jeyes and councillor Barbara Roden in the announcement.
Mayor Jeyes thanked the former Council and Staff for starting the process. The new plant, he said, would eliminate turbidity and provide clean, safe drinking water.
The Village of Ashcroft will use the funding to construct a new drinking water treatment plant, including an upgraded water main pump station, to accommodate increased water demands within the community. It will access raw water from an existing water supply pipeline without impeding the water flow rates of the Thompson River, and generate ample potable water for residents and businesses for years to come.
The 55 projects approved for funding in British Columbia under the Small Communities Fund so far include 24 drinking water projects, 22 wastewater projects, four major roads projects, two disaster mitigation projects, two brownfield remediation projects and one solid waste management project.