Federal funds sought for multi-million dollar projects in French Creek, Nanoose Bay – Parksville Qualicum Beach News

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to apply for funds from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help fund two major projects.

The first project is the French Creek Pollution Control Center expansion and odor control upgrade, which will cost $62.3 million. It treats wastewater for approximately 28,000 people and businesses in Qualicum Beach, Parksville, French Creek, Pacific Shores, Surfside and Barclay Crescent.

The project began in 2011 and focuses on expanding the facilities to meet the increasing demands of a growing population, to renew aging infrastructure, and to improve odor control and environmental performance.

Two public information sessions were held in 2019 and last year, between March and April, clearing and grubbing of the expansion site was carried out.

The anticipated grant request will include three distinct areas, ranging from $12.7 million to $18.7 million, for a total of $46.4 million. Staff indicated that this will give the funding agency the flexibility to choose to fund one or more of these application areas.

The second project is the Nanoose Bay Pumping Station and Main Force Upgrade. The facility has been in service for 30 years and requires upgrading of piping, valves, electrical and control infrastructure for worn and corroded pumps and improved insulation for entry into the space confined by operating personnel during maintenance.

The penstock and gravity sewers also need to be replaced as there were multiple pipe failures in the 3.2 kilometer sewer system which resulted in 10 spills which were reported to Colombia’s Ministry of Environment UK since October 2011. The total budget specified in the grant application is estimated at $5.6 million.

Staff indicated that without a grant, the RDN would fund both projects itself.

“Securing grants has the potential to significantly reduce the financial impact of these projects on RDN residents,” staff said in a report. “However, it should be noted that these grant funding streams are highly competitive and demand tends to exceed available funds.”

— NEWS Staff

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Regional District of Nanaimo

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