A special meeting of council will be held next week to determine which capital project the city will hope to fund through the New Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund.
City staff has recommended that the city apply for $1.4 million for the completion of the Fraser River Bench Land Outfall Remediation project. The project involves the installation of storm water piping and the construction of a flow control berm, inlet structure, and an energy dissipation structure. This project is the preferred alternative identified in the Drainage and Erosion Assessment prepared by McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., July 2010, according to Kris Dalio, the city’s financial planning manager. The city has completed construction ready design drawings and the required archaeological assessment. The project is ready to proceed as soon as additional funding is secured.
Council, however, is also getting pressure from residents in the Hart Highlands area to submit the Hart Highlands Local Area Service Phase 2 project, sewer system upgrades, as the city’s project.
“Because they were concerned about the cost to residents, a couple of women from this area exhaustively researched the possibility of grants that were available from other levels of government for infrastructure renewal,” resident Sandi Kubert said in a letter to council. “This was presented to the former council in the fall. City council congratulated the women on their diligence and promised to apply for the available grant, hold a meeting with concerned residents in January, and then let us know if the grant was approved at the January 19 council meeting. Imagine our surprise, when the council meeting date was suddenly upon us, no meeting between the city and our residents had been called, and we turned up at council meeting to find that our application wasn’t even on the agenda … and that it was being
proposed for shoring up the Fraser River embankment.”
Perhaps a wee bit late, but council is now following up on that promise.
A letter has been hand-delivered to all residents in the Hart Highlands area that would be affect by Phase 2 of the sewer project. The city will meet with area residents Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Hart Highlands Elementary School to discuss the project.
“We’re going to have an opportunity for full feedback,” said Mayor Lyn Hall.
Following Thursday’s meeting, a special meeting of council will be held next week and council will decided which project it will apply seek funding for. That will, Hall said, allow staff enough time to get the funding application by the February 18 deadline.