Nanton News: Town receiving funds from feds for new plant

As part of the New Building Canada Plan, the Town of Nanton will receive $1.75 million to rebuild the waste water treatment plant, Macleod MP John Barlow announced on July 31.

“This is a partnership between ourselves and the province of Alberta, as well as the Town of Nanton,” said Barlow. “This is something the mayor of Nanton was extremely passionate about and we have been working on this for probably close to a year.

“This is a critical piece of infrastructure for Nanton so myself and (Livingstone-Macleod) MLA Pat Stier worked quite hard to access the funds and make sure the applications were in place through the New Building Canada Plan. I am very pleased this came through.”

According to a press release from Alberta Municipal Affairs, the governments of Canada and Alberta are providing funding for 56 infrastructure projects in communities across the province under the New Building Canada Plan’s Small Communities Fund.

“This was probably one of the first things that came across my desk when I was elected last year,” said Barlow about funding for a waste water treatment plant in Nanton. “Pat Stier and I met on this a couple of times, and Pat was quite vocal as well that this was his top concern.

“We knew that this was top priority in terms of an infrastructure project here in my riding of Macleod. It took some time and the big focus was accessing and committing dollars from the province. We needed that there before we could go ahead with the New Building Canada Plan fund.”

When the province made the commitment to Nanton a couple weeks ago, Barlow was confident the federal government would also provide funding.

The Alberta government recently committed to provide cost shared grant funding under the Alberta Municipal Wastewater partnership for the waste water treatment plant.

The Town of Nanton will receive a grant for 61.73 per cent of the estimated cost of the project, up to a maximum of $6,090,396.

Barlow said the federal government understands how important these rural communities are and realizes that is difficult for them to maintain the infrastructure that they need without some assistance from the other levels of government.

“For me, this is a critical piece of infrastructure and without this infrastructure, these communities will not survive. They need these dollars to survive and thrive long term. Now with this project, this opens a whole new vision for what Nanton could be.”

Barlow says this wasn’t a priority — this was a must-have for Nanton.

“Nanton would be unable to grow and as a tax base, this would have been almost impossible for them to carry this burden on their own,” he said. “Nanton needed the other levels of government to step up and be partners on this project. This really truly is a partnership with three levels of government.”

“We are really excited in this town,” said Mayor Rick Everett as he shook Barlow’s hand in front of the waste water treatment plant. “The citizens of this community, when they learn about what happened today, will find this unbelievable. To think that the provincial government and the federal government have stepped up and took on a project that this council has been passionate about to get done and funded.

“Our MP John Barlow has never stopped having faith in our community. He has come to Nanton numerous times and visited the waste water treatment plant and has communicated with me on a regular basis.”

Brian Mason, the province’s infrastructure and transportation minister, toured the plant on July 9, Everett pointed out.

“Collectively, both provincially and federally, this whole thing has come together in a matter of weeks,” said Everett. “We are very excited that within the next year, we will have a brand new waste water treatment plant in Nanton.”

The new waste water treatment facility will take up a smaller footprint then the current one because technology has changed in the last 35 years, but it will be located on the same site.

Kevin Miller, Nanton’s chief administrative officer, said the project is now full steam ahead.

Town of Nanton officials had hoped to have the waste water treatment plant, which is estimated to cost $12 million, up and running in December this year, but now anticipate construction to start next March with the estimated completion date in August or September, 2016.