PRITCHARD — It’s been a great week for Area P. First, there was the announcement that federal-provincial funding has been approved for the Black Pines water system, then the news from Transportation Minister Todd Stone that East Shuswap Road will be resurfaced.
Today, he and MP Cathy McLeod announced that the federal and provincial governments will contribute $153,333 each towards an equipment upgrade for the Pritchard wastewater treatment facility.
The funding is available through the Small Communities Fund of the infrastructure program in which federal, provincial and local governments team up to share the costs one-third each of important local infrastructure.
It was only a few months ago that I wrote a letter for the TNRD’s application for the funding, so the application was acted on very quickly.
Fortunately, the local share of funding will come from surplus and reserves, so Pritchard residents won’t have to be taxed for a loan.
Quotes will now be obtained from suppliers, and sometime in the next few months a new screening device that will be installed to remove preliminary solids from wastewater before it enters the main treatment process.
Currently, TNRD employees must manually remove accumulated and difficult-to-manage solids such as plastics, grease, personal hygiene products etc.
It’s labour intensive, unpleasant work, and costly. As I said during the announcement, Pritchard residents on the north side of the South Thompson aren’t going to notice a big difference in their lives when the installation is completed, but they would if nothing was done and the system started breaking down.
Present on behalf of the TNRD at today’s announcement were Vice Chair Willow McDonald, me, Director Ken Gillis, Director Bill Kershaw, my alternate Ansley Armstrong, and several members of staff.