Armstrong may relocate sewage pond

The pond beside the Nor-Val Sports Centre may be moved out to Thomas Hayes Road.

It was on the books 20 years ago.

But lack of funds and other priorities kept the City of Armstrong from moving a large sewage settling pond from downtown out to the 160 acres of city-owned property on Thomas Hayes Road in the Township of Spallumcheen.

Now, a new master sewer plan comprised for the city could see the pond beside the Nor-Val Sports Centre moved out to Thomas Hayes Road.

The master plan is a complete analysis of the city’s current waste management system from downtown out to its spray irrigation system at the Thomas Hayes Road property, which is located seven kilometres south of the city.

“The plan analyzed our current system and gave us options to either repair the current assets we have downtown, or work on moving some of the assets out to the 160 acres at Thomas Hayes,” said Mayor Chris Pieper.

Council looked at four options and chose one that includes maintaining the current system, which is working fine, and moving some of the settling ponds out of downtown, something proposed 20 years ago.

“It shows a commitment to ensuring the ability to collect, treat and commit to a reclaimed wastewater spray irrigation benefits farmers and keeps treated waste from entering creeks and lakes,” said city administrator Patti Ferguson.

Added Coun. Ryan Nitchie: “I think we should honour the foresight of councils before us who saw a vision to build this plan. We had to incur some debt to replace pipelines, but we’ve nearly paid this off.”

Council directed staff to provide a report containing a timeline and budget implications to implement its chosen option.

“Our preferred step is to have staff come up with an analysis, see how much it will cost and what grants are available,” said Pieper. “We don’t have to do it this year or next year. We want to get plans ready for it, get a detailed cost analysis and then go from there.”