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Lions Gate sewage plant pushed for federal grant

Rendering of future Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant on the North Shore. - Metro Vancouver
Rendering of future Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant on the North Shore.
— image credit: Metro Vancouver

Metro Vancouver's planned new Lions Gate wastewater treatment plant will be the region's first priority for federal infrastructure grants under the newly announced National Building Canada fund.

Metro's board made the decision Friday and also agreed the $700-million project will be constructed with a private partner using a design-build-finance model.

Metro will maintain and operate the new plant.

"This approach allows us to contract with a single entity for design and construction of the plant and includes longer holdback and extended warranty provisions for additional security," said Metro utilities committee chair Darrell Mussatto, the mayor of North Vancouver City.

The regional district has been under pressure for years from environmental groups to replace the half-century-old Lions Gate sewage treatment plant – which discharges effluent treated to just a primary standard – with one providing improved secondary treatment.

The federal government set a deadline of 2020 for the upgrade.

But the project will be costly, driving up utility bills for residents across the region, and particularly on the North Shore, where annual sewage fees are expected to climb from $267 to $715 by 2030.

The bite will be eased if the federal and provincial governments approve big contributions.

The Building Canada Fund is to provide $14 billion over 10 years, with $10 billion available for infrastructure projects, including sewage treatment.

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