Next week it will be a full year since this District of Barriere Council and new Mayor were elected. I would not want people to think we didn’t manage to get some projects either completed or underway, so I have asked staff and Council to reflect on what has been accomplished in the past year. I will create the resulting report next week.
For now I can bring you up to date on one of our largest projects, which is the Sustainable Wastewater Solution project. This large project is being done in a number of subprojects. The subprojects are:
1) Wastewater treatment plant
2) Wastewater collection system
3) The Septage receiving facility.
This year the local septage receiving station was closed. This meant septage had to be hauled farther and costs to residents went up. Council recognized that this was not a tenable situation and asked staff to provide a solution as quickly as possible. To date the septage project has been engineered, ownership of the land for the project location has been acquired and the contract for the construction of the facility has been awarded with a completion date of Spring 2013. By working closely with Gilbert Smith Sawmills, District staff was able to locate the facility in the best possible location, with as little cost as possible.
The wastewater collection system is well on its way as well. The system has been engineered, the elevations and pipe locations have been surveyed, and work is underway to acquire some needed right of ways. During this work, staff and our engineer, Mr. David Underwood, found that by moving the primary lift station to a location near the septage receiving station, we could realize significant savings. This was due to the fact that the septage receiving station is at the lowest point of the service area. By designing the system to have all the sewage flow to this lowest point, the pipes throughout the initial service area did not have to be as deep. The costs around digging trenches rise considerably the deeper we go.
Also there is an added bonus to having all the wastewater sent to the septage receiving facility. It may be possible to have the wastewater go through initial treatment to remove some of the solids. This will allow the wastewater treatment plant to handle more volume than was first planned for. This will allow us to expand the collection piping in the future with little or no need for additional equipment in the wastewater treatment plant. Also, there will be an opportunity to aerate the wastewater which reduces any potential for smell and improves the bacterial action of the wastewater reclamation system. This is all great news.
This week I will attend the “Success Through Sharing” Symposium put on by the Aboriginal Business and Investment Council. The ABI Council was created through the Canada Starts Here: BC Jobs Plan. The Symposium is prior to the Economic Development Association of BC & Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training annual working dinner. During dinner I will ask Minister Bell and his staff how our various economic pilot projects here in the valley can be brought forward in a timely manner, and how we can be a greater part of plans for the future here in the valley.
Speaking of planning, Council has asked staff to prepare a Request For Quotes for the grass cutting work within the District. Once the quotes are received, we can determine the best course of action. A local contractor may well be the most efficient and best way to control costs, while still providing a quality service. The link to the RFQ is on the District of Barriere website. Going forward Council will also be looking at how best to provide such things as road maintenance and other services. Giving what work we have to local workers/contractors and shopping locally help to grow our economy. The Shop Local campaign is in full swing please do what you can to support local businesses.
The Santa parade and Christmas tree lighting are on Dec. 7, in the evening. This is a change from years past. Please try and make it out for some fun.