Kitimat council has committed over $2.1-million to support the Water System Upgrade project which is estimated to be a nearly $8.2-million project.
A recommendation was brought forward to council on June 27 that will see them submitting a grant application to the Canada Community-Building Fund - Strategic Priorities Fund for the project. If the grant application is successful the District of Kitimat will provide overall grant management if it is successful.
Early in 2022, council approved a grant submission under Canada-British Columbia Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program which they are still waiting for a response. Councillor Mario Feldhoff asked if applying for this application would undo the previous application.
“We applied just over $6-million for the other grant, we saw the opportunity for this grant, one grant does not negate the other if we get one or the other then we will get to pick which one we go with,” said Director of Engineering Alex Ramos-Espinoza.
The existing water supply system in Kitimat does not meet today’s water quality standards and experiences water quality advisories each year. Northern Health is aware of the upgrade plans and has committed to providing the District of Kitimat with an endorsement letter to include with the grant application.
There is still a water quality advisory in effect as of June 29 in Kitimat and Ramos-Espinoza says they are continuing to monitor the water.
“We have been monitoring the turbidity levels in our community and we are just slightly exceeding our permit as we’ve seen the river go up and down with the melt and the warm weather,” he said.
There are some budget implications with this grant application as council previously committed $1,256,759 to reserves and would need to commit an additional $943,516 in the 2023 budget to satisfy the grant’s requirements.
The motion for the District of Kitimat to apply for this grant, commit to their share of the project and provide grant management was passed unanimously.