Grant application for South Sewer in works

Cumberland council agreed to co-apply for a grant which could deliver an influx of cash for the proposed South Sewer project, if approved.

Cumberland will participate in a co-application for PPP Canada funding, along with the Comox Valley Regional District and K'ómoks First Nation. If the grant application's successful, PPP Canada could provide up to 25 per cent of overall project costs.

The first phase of a new water resource recovery facility and collection system is estimated to cost $42 million.

Coun. Roger Kishi noted funding has been one of the things standing in the way of Cumberland deciding to become a full partner in the project.

"Basically, it's us participating in the (grant) application to see if we can get more funding because it's still a condition for the Village to fully participate in the project," he said during last week's council meeting.

Coun. Kate Greening replied funding isn't the only thing holding up Cumberland from officially joining the project.

"It's not just the money that's a condition for the Village to agree to the the South Sewer Regional Plant; it's also governance," she said, then questioning whether the Village would be tied into the project if the grant application is successful.

Mayor Leslie Baird assured her a successful application would not mean the Village agreed to be a partner in the project.

Council voted to co-apply and provide a letter of support, and at Greening's suggestion, request a copy of the grant application be made available to council.

According to a Village staff report, PPP Canada should announce successful grants by October.

The CVRD, KFN and Cumberland co-applied for a PPP Canada grant in 2012, which was unsuccessful.

The South Sewer project is designed to address the impact of failing septic systems in Royston and Union Bay, but could also be built to deal with Cumberland's wastewater, as its own treatment system is in need of replacement.

A project office was recently set up at 3843 Livingstone Rd. in Royston. Public visiting hours are from noon to 4 p.m. each Thursday.

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