South Peace News
Upgrades to the Grouard water system may come sooner than later under a federal infrastructure grant program that promotes efficiencies.
At its regular meeting Sept. 12, Big Lakes County council directed administration to research project costs and feasibility, then submit an expression of interest to Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program for the northern and rural communities and green infrastructure streams.
“During the council meeting Aug. 8, Grouard Councillor Fern Welch requested that administration research a federal grant program with information that the program funded water projects for communities with a population under 5,000 and Indigenous communities,” says a report from Heather Nanninga, director of corporate services.
Welch suggested ICIP.
However, she says the county may want to consider other areas of the county.
“I don’t think is should be just Grouard,” Welch says.
If an application is approved, the county would likely receive 40 per cent of funding from the federal government and up to 70 per cent, Nanninga says.
“Under this program, governments of Canada and Alberta are working together to make long-term infrastructure investments that will promote economic growth, maintain high-paying jobs, build inclusive communities and support carbon-reduction efforts.”
An application for Grouard currently has one disadvantage.
“Limited progress has been made in terms of scoping and costing the water services expansion project for Grouard,” Nanninga says.
She notes that guidelines for applicable projects are vague and no deadlines for applications have been set.