Septage project flowing nicely

As the Mayor sees it by District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys

Awhile ago I wrote that the District had a  priority to get the new septage receiving facility in operation as soon as was possible. To that end Council and staff have been doing everything possible to finalize the plans for the building, the location and the machinery which will process the septage.  Things have flowed along nicely and great progress has been made on all fronts.

As soon as some details are finalized the tenders for the construction of the building will be posted. The processing equipment has already been chosen and ordered with a delivery time of early next year. The reason this will take some time is that these machines are specialized and need to be made to order for the application they are to be used for. In our case the machine dewaters the septage. Dewatering separates the solids which will then be composted. This provides a number of advantages particularly as it relates to the eco friendly wastewater system we will be installing here in Barriere.

Unlike the traditional sewage lagoon system that does not need regulation of the bio loads (solids) placed into the lagoon, ours will. The reason for this is so that the plants and bacteria that will cleanse the sewage need carefully regulated amounts of material to work with for optimum performance. With septage the bio loads are already concentrated due to the way septic systems work. If the solids are removed from the septage prior to being introduced into the wastewater plant then the plant can handle more actual sewage. This results in more houses being able to be served by the sewer system for the same initial outlay of money. Once again careful planning and forethought give good results.

Recently we have been working to have the plans for our roads finalized with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Our CAO, Ms. Hannigan has made great progress working with Ministry staff setting out who does what. There are a few notable problem spots though. One is the portion of Agate Bay road that lies with The District of Barriere. Our view is that this is an arterial highway and therefore needs to be maintained by the Ministry. The Ministry does not agree and they think we should maintain the 800 metres that are within our boundaries. The only person that can change this decision apparently is the Minister so it is now a political argument. To that end members of Council and I will meet with the new Minister, Mary Polak at the end of September in Victoria to see if we can convince her to agree with us.

This meeting and others have been arranged as part of the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference being held in Victoria the last week of September. As well as the issue of our roads, we will be bringing forth a number of topics such as the provision of proper hydro to the North Thompson valley, steps for increasing the available workforce so that we can plan for future growth such as building a health care facility here in Barriere, and so on. In each case Council has asked staff to put together comprehensive and convincing presentations and I am confidant that all their hard work will produce good results.

Speaking of good results, some of our dedicated volunteers have been working hard to get the ice rink into shape for the coming winter season. Al and Stacey Fortin have repaired and replaced the top boards as well as some of the side panels in the rink and have painted all the inside. It looks brand new inside and will be ready for all those that come to enjoy it this winter. Shawn Fadaer encouraged General Paint to donate some paint so the project could be started. Now to find more paint so that the warming room shed and the outside of the rink can look as nice as the inside. Al did say he would help out painting if we got the paint, so I am openly asking for help with sourcing more paint.

Many thanks to Al and Stacey for volunteering and to all our many volunteers here in Barriere. Our community would not survive and grow without your help.