Cumberland is in the midst of a large project to upgrade its wastewater treatment lagoon. Image, Clear Facts — Wastewater Treatment & Environment video

Cumberland is in the midst of a large project to upgrade its wastewater treatment lagoon. Image, Clear Facts — Wastewater Treatment & Environment video

Cumberland plays catch-up with wastewater project

Coordinator expects work to be done on time despite COVID-19 delays

The Village of Cumberland still expects to finish its multi-phase wastewater treatment upgrade on time, despite some delays.

At the most recent council meeting, liquid waste management planning project coordinator Paul Nash updated council members on recent schedule setbacks because of COVID-19.

“We are getting some movement,” he said at the outset of his presentation. “The project’s now fully funded and we’re ready to move forward.

The project is broken into the initial phase in which the Village will upgrade the actual lagoon, followed by a biochar remediation or “reed bed” component.

“It’s not a regulatory requirement,” Nash said. “It’s a case of going above and beyond.”

Finally, there will be a phase to complete watershed restoration.

“We want to get moving on the whole project,” he said, adding, “This has been a strange year for getting going on projects.”

RELATED STORY: Cumberland wastewater procurement process should come in 2020

RELATED STORY: Cumberland fined for wastewater non-compliance issues

The initial plan was to provide some time between the first phase and the subsequent ones, though Nash indicated this is not likely now due to delays in starting the first phase. Getting the lagoon work done as soon as possible is still the biggest driver for the project, as his report notes the Village needs to achieve provincial regulatory compliance to avoid further warnings or fines. Financially though, the biggest factor is the deadline for the Green Municipal Fund in September 2022. The report indicates the Village should be able to complete the works within the next two years.

One of the changes for the project, and one which council questioned, was a switch from a design-build procurement model to a construction management approach. Nash explained this would include hiring a design engineer, construction manager and project manager. It is expected the Village will procure each phase as separate contracts but likely have the project manager and design engineer work throughout for coordination and integration purposes. He also said the construction management model is better for retrofit projects such as the lagoon upgrade.

For the $9.7-million project, most of the funds are coming from federal and provincial sources. Of the $2.2 million municipal portion, the money will be borrowed rather than coming from reserve funds. The final timeline for federal and provincial funding is March 2024, and Nash told council the Village should meet this.

“I’m still pretty confident we can get it all done,” he said.

In light of the delays related to the pandemic, Coun. Vickey Brown asked about contingencies for the project.

Nash responded they have factored in 20 per cent contingencies for all costs from the start of the process. The real challenge at this point is time.

“We’ve hardly spent any money to date,” he said. “The real issue is we just need to get going.”

While there has been no public engagement for the project this year, the Village expects to hold sessions once the project team is hired, likely in the first half of 2021. There are also plans to seek input for the wetlands restoration work following some environmental studies and other planning.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Cumberlandinfrastructure

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Comox Valley Sports Centre re-opened in the summer. Photo supplied
Comox Valley Sports Centre Commission chair commends staff efforts in challenging year

Comox Valley Sports Centre Commission chair Daniel Arbour delivered a year-end report… Continue reading

The Lamplighters wants to end its lease with the village. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Briefs: Cumberland agrees to end hall lease with Lamplighters

Council aims to add more daytime meetings in 2021 for seniors

A rendering of the proposed window covering and sign for the business planned for downtown Cumberland. Image, Village of Cumberland report
Cumberland approves location change for cannabis permit

Site next door to the one planned seen as more financially feasible

The DPAC is holding an online forum on Nov. 30 for candidates for the upcoming school district byelection. Screenshot DPAC poster
Online forum for Comox Valley school board byelection is Nov. 30

Six candidates have filed papers to fill the trustee position in Area C

The Food Share program volunteers pack supplies for food-insecure families. Screenshot, CCSS website
Cumberland council OK’s money for food program

Community school group asks to use unused money to help families

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Randy Bell. (File photo)
Former northern B.C. mayoral candidate arrested after allegedly refusing to wear mask

Randy Bell handcuffed and given a warning at Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Smithers

Most Read