The City of Rossland has received over $3.6 million in federal and provincial funding toward the infrastructure project planned for Spokane Street.
On Friday, March 17, Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, announced a combined $373.2 million for 144 new projects in B.C. through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF). The federal government is providing up to 50 per cent of funding—more than $186.6 million— and the provincial government is investing nearly $123.2 million, with local governments contributing the $63.4 million balance.
Rossland will receive $2,188,029 of federal funding and $1,444,099 in provincial funding toward the Spokane Street Infrastructure Improvement Project, slated to begin in May. Rossland will contribute the remaining $743,930 needed for the project.
Rossland will also receive $250,000 in federal funding and $165,000 in provincial funding towards its Comprehensive Sanitary Sewer Inflow & Infiltration Strategy. The balance covered by the city will be $85,000.
“Rossland is absolutely thrilled and grateful to be the recipient of two Clean Water and Wastewater Fund grants,” Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore said in an email on Tuesday. “The first project is a major rebuild of Spokane Street. We have experienced multiple failures of both the water and sewer lines on Spokane, LeRoi and First Ave. Portions of all of these roads will be addressed in this corridor upgrade. Without this grant we would be obligated to extend this project over three or four years. That would not be cost efficient or effective — plus we would risk additional pipe failures.”
“The other grant is for a major inflow and infiltration strategy that will help us address the very persistent problem of storm and ground water getting into our sewer lines, thus requiring us to pay to treat water instead of just sewage at the treatment plant in Trail,” she added. “By systematically addressing these issues wherever they are located throughout our network we can fix the most critical problems first”.
The release issued by the government of B.C. on March 17 acknowledged that “having access to clean, reliable drinking water is critical to the health and prosperity of Canadian communities and for attracting economic opportunities for the middle class and those working to join it. By ensuring that drinking water and wastewater systems are modern, efficient and meet the capacity needs of our communities, the governments of Canada and British Columbia are safeguarding the well-being of Canadian families, protecting our waterways and preserving our ecosystems.”
Moore is grateful for the support the projects have received, including the support shown by City of Rossland staff.
“I am so grateful to the support of all levels of government, including our municipal staff for being ‘shovel ready’ with these important projects,” she said. “It takes a lot of work to identify critical projects, do the initial engineering and preparation work and write the grants. None of any of that work is a guarantee of success and it takes a strong team to pull it off.”