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Increased budget for new Sechelt lift station approved

The District of Sechelt has approved an increase in budget to their new lift station.

Lift stations push wastewater from sewers in low-lying areas up to treatment plants where it can be treated and recycled.

Sechelt’s new station will replace the one on Wakefield Road that was built in 1995. It’s grown decrepit and over the last five years has had multiple failures resulting in accidental discharges to the ocean.

It’s been raised from the amount budgeted by $2.8 million to just over $4 million, largely due to inflation.

Sechelt Mayor John Henderson says it was a necessary decision for this crucial piece of their wastewater infrastructure.

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“We had expected the cost to be much lower, but we all hear about supply chain burdens and challenges,” says Henderson. “This is the case where because of the time it took to get the project going, our costs are a lot higher than we expected. In my view, we really didn’t have a choice. We just had to figure out how to pay for it.”

He says they had some preparation for this and the impact of the budget increase won’t immediately fall on the backs of taxpayers.

“In this case, we’ve been been prudent with the way that we’ve operated our wastewater functions and we have the revenues that come from taxpayers to pay for all the wastewater services they receive,” says Henderson. “So we’re able to pay for the excess primarily by borrowing some money, so that we can finish to build the best lift station that we can have.”

The proposal before council suggested the diversion of $1.1 million from the Growing Communities Fund and another grant that was given from the province to help make ends meet.

Henderson says they’re building the new station to be able to scale with the communities growth, to last for decades.

“In this case, the incremental cost of building the additional capacity is really immaterial to the overall cost, but it does give us the flexibility for the future,” he says. “At the costs that we’re talking about, we don’t want to have to do another one in my lifetime for sure.”

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