A detailed report on how the City of Williams Lake will financially contribute to the construction of a water treatment plant is anticipated to be presented to Council next week.
A presentation of a draft water treatment plant feasibility study outlining four different treatment options starting at nearly $15 million was shared with Council at Tuesday’s committee of whole meeting.
Mayor Walt Cobb says they are in the process of fine-tuning the application so they can get into the grant procedure.
“Because we’re told that there’s the intake coming up and at this stage of the game we’ll get 73 percent funding from the federal government so that’s where we’re at,” he says. “We’ve got a few T’s to cross and I’s to dot prior to us to getting the application in but the deadline is in February.”
Because the City must demonstrate it can pay for its contribution, Cobb says they only have so much money in their reserve accounts and if Council decides to go with a higher option they will likely have to go to the electorate to approve borrowing.
“This is not something that I want to do but if we have to do it, we have to do it,” Cobb says. “And when the feds come down with these new regulations we pretty much have to adhere to them and with saying that we want to make sure that we have safe drinking water too.”
The need for Williams Lake to construct a water treatment plant is the result of Health Canada establishing a maximum concentration for manganese in drinking water.
Cobb says he is leaning towards the first option involving biological manganese filtration that utilizes bacteria naturally present in the groundwater to reduce the manganese concentration.
“If the feds get our application and give us approval, we could probably have it all done by 2022.”