Electoral Area B Director Bob Fleming (from left), Electoral Area C Director Amanda Shatzko, Township of Spallumcheen Mayor Christine Fraser and Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis celebrate a funding announcement for the wastewater recovery project on Sept. 12, 2019. (Contributed)

Spallumcheen farmers to be recognized for ‘generous’ land donation

North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project made possible in part by Toporchak family’s donation

Mayor and council of the Township of Spallumcheen is hosting a special event Tuesday to recognize the Toporchak family for their generous land contribution for the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project.

“We are honoured to formally express our gratitude to John and Deanna Toporchak and their family for contributing a portion of their land for this monumental project for the region,” township Mayor Christine Fraser said. “The land they have farmed for years will be the future site for the recovered water storage ponds.”

The project, Fraser said, will improve water quality in Swan Lake, improve economic development opportunities and provide 600 acres of irrigation water.

“The Toporchak’s selfless contribution is a symbol of their commitment to the area, the community, the environment and the economy,” she said.

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, stakeholders will recognize the longtime Spallumcheen farming family at the township’s council chambers at 2 p.m.

The wastewater recovery project will provide a safe and sustainable treatment facility and community wastewater system, while protecting the water quality of Swan Lake and supporting future economic development.

The Okanagan Indian Band, Township of Spallumcheen and Regional District of North Okanagan teamed up in 2015 in a unique partnership to deliver the objective to provide wastewater service to the residents and businesses in parts of OKIB, RDNO’s Electoral Areas B and C and Spallumcheen’s southeast industrial area.

Ottawa and the province approved the township for $24.3 million as part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. This funding will cover around 73 per cent of the total costs of the project. The remaining share of the total project cost of $36.9 million will be funded by RDNO borrowing ($5.2 million), an Okanagan Basin Water Board grant ($5.9 million) and Township of Spallumcheen reserves ($1.5 million).

The next steps include design, development, tendering and construction of the facility and sewer lines over the next two to three years. The process will be aided by the continued support of the Wastewater Recovery Working Group, a group of dedicated community volunteers providing local perspectives as the project moves forward.

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