The mayor of Swift Current says the Saskatchewan city was left “on the outside looking in” when it realized available infrastructure funds in the province were much lower than officials anticipated.
Mayor Denis Perrault expressed the opinion on the available funding following a denial of the city’s applications for wastewater upgrades through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), a cost-shared infrastructure funding program between the federal government, provinces and territories.
“It’s obviously disappointing that we were denied funding under this program,” announced Mayor Perrault in a statement to the municipality’s nearly 17,000 residents. “A lot of effort was put into these applications, and there was a great deal of planning and consultation that occurred prior to us submitting these requests. We believe that these are both worthwhile projects that will benefit the community and region for years to come,” he added.
The wastewater project in question submitted in February pertains to Swift Current’s expansions and upgrades application submitted under the grant program’s Green Infrastructure Stream. The proposal focused on twinning the force main running to the wastewater treatment plant and upgrading the lift station in the northeast corner of the city. The current system is close to capacity, officials say.
The mayor indicated that the City’s strategy will now be to “forge ahead” and “demonstrate the real needs in our region” and to “understand what steps we can take to attract funding in the future for these vital projects.”
Swift Current’s wastewater treatment plant on Highway #1 was built in 2006 and treats an average of 1,750,000 cubic meters of wastewater annually. The city also uses four lagoon cells as part of its treatment process.
The other application denied to Swift Current involved an integrated leisure facility project submitted under the Community, Culture and Recreation Stream of the ICIP program.
“We’re resolved to keep pushing, to continue to ask that the Southwest not be overlooked when it comes to getting help with our major capital projects. The plan is not to move on, it’s to push forward,” announced Perrault.
Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency recently announced that $8.3 million will be invested in six water management projects that range from pumping infrastructure to flood mapping and aquatic weed removal.