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Pemberton to apply for up to $14 million in federal Gas Tax Funds for infrastructure

Money sought for storm water management and water supply integration

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Pemberton Council is directing staff to apply for up to $14 million in federal Gas Tax funding for two major infrastructure projects.

Council passed two resolutions to apply for Gas Tax Funds for the completion of phases one and two (of three) of the Clean Water Supply project at the regular council meeting on May 15.

Phase three of the Clean Water Supply project involves the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District area and was not addressed at Tuesday's council meeting.

The first project is an application of up to $8 million to create an Integrated Stormwater Management System Through Sustainable Design. The project will address all three objectives of the Gas Tax Program; cleaner water, cleaner air and reduction of greenhouse gases.

The new application follows a funding request in 2010 for downtown pedestrian improvements, which was turned down. At the time, the Village received provincial feedback, which will lead to a refined bid this year.

According to the report presented to council:

"The proposed system will reduce the amount of run off, while filtering out contaminants and debris before it enters into our waterways.... The Integrated Stormwater Management project aims to increase well and water source protection through a storm water catchment and management for the downtown area."

The second project, an application of up to $6 million, is to improve Pemberton Valley residents' access to safe, clean drinking water through an Integrated Water Supply and Delivery System.

Staff noted in a report that Pemberton's reservoir is about 13 years old and is no longer large enough to cover the needs of the community, with some residents resorting to well water and expensive filtration systems. They hope that an Integrated Water Supply and Delivery System "would provide clean water to the Pemberton Valley and help mitigate possible contamination risks that exist for both Pemberton and Mount Currie."

The proposal, in three phases, seeks the installation of a reservoir and distribution system situated between Pemberton and Mount Currie that would have sufficient capacity to support Village of Pemberton fire flow needs as well as allowing for expansion of the distribution network.

The system could also accommodate both future development and cross connection with Mount Currie's Water system, if needed.

The Integrated Water Supply and Delivery System project was described as being at the "conceptual stage."

The Village will be requesting 100 per cent of the costs for phases one and two of the Stormwater Management System Through Sustainable Design from the Gas Tax Fund; and 100 per cent of the costs are requested from the fund for phases one and two of the Integrated Water Supply and Delivery System project.

Both projects were described at the meeting as "a priority for us" and the amounts applied for considered realistic staff told councillors, noting that a similar project in Lillooet received $11 million from the Gas Tax Fund.

PVTA gets $10,000 for Mt. Currie Trail from MEC

Mayor Jordan Sturdy announced that the Pemberton Valley Trail Association has received a contribution of $10,000 from Mountain Equipment Co-op towards the proposed Mount Currie Hiking Trail. It was one of 31 organizations out of 147 applicants to receive funding for outdoor community projects in the MEC's Access and Activity category.

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