Old plant’s fate tabled to budget deliberations

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Saving the old water treatment plant from the wrecking ball appears to be the direction which High Prairie town council is leaning.

A decision to repurpose the old plant at a cost of $110,000 was forwarded to 2019 budget debate later this year at council’s July 24 meeting.

Repurposing involves repairing the roof on the building to keep it from leaking. The building must be dry in preparation for a tenant interested in providing broadband service in town.

During debate, Councillor Brian Gilroy asked what the cost would be to demolish the building, saying he heard it would be higher. Public works Supt. Vern Walker replied the estimated cost at $250,000.

Walker was clearly in favour of keeping the building.

“There’s still a lot of equipment in there,” he said, including special municipal water/sewer pipes, some which must be kept dry and from sunlight, as well as Christmas lights.

Still, the possibility of it being used for a broadband office was most appealing to council.

The old water plant was put out of commission over a decade ago after the new $2 million plant opened in 2002. The plant is located in prime downtown real estate and is no longer needed as a water treatment facility.

Walker added the high cost of demolition is due to asbestos and the fact that water wells underneath must be closed.


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