City applying for grant support for major infrastructure projects

The City of Swift Current is seeking for grant support in order to tackle a pair of priority infrastructure improvements.

Swift Current City Council passed motions at their January 16 meeting to seek New Building Canada Fund grant funding for both a Herbert Street multi-infrastructure rehabilitation project, and a capacity upgrade at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
In a presentation to council, General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations Mitch Minken highlighted a series of improvements are needed on Herbert Street, between 3rd Ave. and 6th Ave. N.E., to repair deteriorating underground services.
“We have a failing storm water system under Herbert Street,” Minken explained. “Upon further inspection we found that the waste water system there is also failing. So we are in need of getting those replaced.”
Minken noted that a 2014 inspection determined that a 48 inch corrugated steel pipe used for waste water was in need of replacement.
“That has been there long enough that it is actually rusted out at the bottom of it, and a portion of it is actually missing.”
“So we are really quite nervous that this could lead to a full collapse of that pipe, and a collapse of the street.”
“This project will look at replacing all of those water lines and waste water line and storm lines.”
Herbert Street is not only a well utilized thoroughfare for surface traffic, it is also an important portion of a network of underground services. There is a SaskEnergy gas pipeline station on the corner of 6th Ave. and Herbert St., plus there is a nearby city water muster station so there is a network of major water lines in the area.
The project has a total cost of $2.81 million according to a pre-design report presented by WSP Group.
Because of the severity of the failing system, the City will have to proceed with the improvement regardless of whether there is grant funding or not.
“If we don’t get this funding then to move this project forward, we would have to fund it fully ourselves.”
The funding structure of the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component (PTIC) program is shared on a one-third basis by federal, provincial and municipal governments. This is the second intake of applications through this program.
The newly introduced Clean Water and Wastewater Fund Program (CWWF) program is directed towards water, wastewater and storm water projects. The federal component of the grant program provides 50 per cent funding, with the provincial and municipal government each paying 25 per cent of eligible project costs.
The intake process requires a municipality to submit only two applications via one common application.
Swift Current is also putting forward an application for a $9.4 million upgrade connected to the waste water treatment plant. This is a dual improvement project, with the city aiming to provide some redundancy for the force main which runs from the main lift to the waste water treatment plant, plus making a series of waste water upgrades related to growth.
“We are nearing capacity in the Northeast and Northwestern for waste water. In order for the City to continue to grow beyond sort of what’s planned today, we need some more waste water infrastructure,” Minken noted.
The redundancy portion of the project would twin the system, reducing the potential of an emergency situation of the existing main failed. The additional capacity is needed for both immediate and future growth.
The upgrades would provide capacity for another 307 hectares of developable land in both the northwest and the northeast portions of the city.
“We are trying to get a little bit ahead of our anticipated growth right now. Hopefully be prepared for when that growth happens.”
If the city is not successful in this grant application, Minken said the city would be looking to have that work phased in and complete the work as growth begins to develop.
Minken added they expect to hear back soon regarding their grant application, as the New Building Canada Fund intends to respond quickly in order to have the funding in place for this upcoming construction season.