(from left) MP Jati Sidhu

(from left) MP Jati Sidhu

Ashcroft gets federal, provincial funds for arena and sewage plant

The village will be receiving more than $500,000 to upgrade facilities at the arena and the sewage treatment plant

The Village of Ashcroft has received federal and provincial grants totalling $502,576 for upgrades to its sewage treatment plant and the Drylands Arena.

The grants were announced by MP Jati Sidhu (Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon), MLA Jackie Tegart (Fraser-Nicola), and Ashcroft mayor Jack Jeyes on March 30. The federal government will be contributing $265,000 to the sewage treatment plant upgrades; the provincial government will contribute $175,000; and the village will contribute $105,000.

The federal government grant for the arena is $32,756, with an additional grant of $30,000 from the Northern Development Initiative Trust. The village’s share of the arena upgrades is $1,156.

New LED lights will be installed in all public areas of the arena and over the ice surface; the locker room doors will be replaced; the aging heating units over the bleachers will be replaced; and an upgrade to the variable frequency drive motor will be made. The upgrades will mean that the facility is more energy efficient, and will result in cost savings for the village.

The work will be done over the summer, and is scheduled to be complete by the time the arena re-opens for the season in fall 2017.

Upgrades at the sewage treatment plant will mean replacement of the drying table, which is well past its lifespan, and improvements to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in the de-watering room, to improve the work environment.

Jeyes said he was very pleased about the funding announcements. “It’s always a great day to receive funding. It’s a great way to turn $105,000 into half-a-million dollars. We’ll be more efficient after this work is done.”

Sidhu said that the government of Canada has been hard at work to fund infrastructure across the country. “It funds growth, jobs, and future generations. We’re ensuring that our wastewater facilities are modern.

“The Clean Water and Wastewater Fund was established to help underfunded facilities. As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, we’re reminded of the important role infrastructure has played in our history. We have a quality of life admired by the world, and we’re leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Tegart said that “The Clean Water and Wastewater Fund is critical to helping local governments maintain the systems that rely on these supplies, and provide safe and reliable wastewater systems that are essential to the health and well-being of our communities.

“This project for Ashcroft will deliver many benefits. Water and sewage treatment are top priorities, and some of the most challenging for funding and maintenance. This funding allows local governments to make critical decisions. It ensures sustainability and improves community resilience and opportunities.

“This funding shows how all levels of government come together, and enables local governments to make investments in critical infrastructure. These are core services that communities throughout our province depend on to grow, to help ensure sustainability principles are met, and to improve a community’s resiliency and attractiveness. It’s a partnership with local government and staff; congratulations to council and staff, who live and breathe this stuff.

“This is really good news. And the leadership of local government is so crucial in these projects. It’s great to be supporting infrastructure projects; it’s critical to the health of small communities.”

After the announcement, Jeyes said he was pleased with recent, and planned, upgrades to village facilities. “Within the last few years, the Village of Ashcroft has carried out work at the Community Hall, the arena, the museum, and the water and sewage treatment plants. It’s touched on almost all the public infrastructure we own.

“Thank you to the federal and provincial governments for recognizing the needs of local governments.”