Ashcroft residents will benefit from recently completed improvements to the Village’s sewer treatment plant thanks to provincial and federal support.
The Village of Ashcroft sewage treatment plant services more than 800 properties and treats over 875,000 litres of effluent a day. Newer, more efficient equipment will help the Village save on energy costs, improve the reliability of the plant, and reduce the risk of harm to the local ecosystem.
“Improvements to Ashcroft’s sewage treatment plant will help protect our marine environment, an important part of our community and the local economy,” said Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon. “Our Government is pleased to be investing in infrastructure projects, such as this one, that are important to Canadians and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable environment.”
“Supporting local infrastructure is a priority and we are committed to helping B.C. communities meet the costs of essential upgrades,” said Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart. “This sewer treatment plant upgrade was an important project that will protect the health and well-being of people who live here.”
“This upgrade makes the plant more efficient by being able to adjust itself down when demands are less, saving money on operations,” said Andy Anderson, Mayor of Ashcroft. “This upgrade will also extend the life of the plant. Thanks to a great job by the staff for putting this all together for the benefit of every Ashcroft resident.”
The Village of Ashcroft received a $400,000 grant from the Provincial Towns for Tomorrow program to offset the cost of the project. This grant, along with a $300,000 contribution from the federal Gas Tax Fund, allowed the town to proceed with the project without incurring any long-term debt.
“A key environmental outcome of the federal Gas Tax Fund is to see investments in projects such as this one that result in a reduction in energy consumption,” said UBCM President Mary Sjostrom. “UBCM is encouraged to see federal and provincial investments into important infrastructure upgrades such as this one in the Village of Ashcroft.”
From 2007 to the close of program funding in 2011, the B.C. Government invested close to $70 million to fund 201 Towns for Tomorrow projects. Under this program, communities with a population less than 5,000 received up to 80 per cent provincial funding, to a maximum contribution of $400,000, for approved projects that supported green initiatives and contributed to the overall health, sustainability and livability of communities.
The federal Gas Tax Fund provides funding to municipalities for their infrastructure. The Government of Canada has invested over $10 billion to date through this program, and passed legislation to make it a permanent transfer of $2 billion per year. The Government also committed to index the Fund to provide additional funding for communities, starting in 2014. Between 2006 and 2014, British Columbia will receive more than $1.56 billion from the Fund to improve local infrastructure. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.