Feds, province announce money for Battleford lagoon project

The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan recently announced funding for Battleford’s lagoon upgrades and expansion.

According to a recent press release, federal funding will be about $2.1 million, provincial funding will be $1.7 million, and the town will have to pay about $1.4 million for the project.

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The lagoon is near capacity and upgrading it is a major capital expenditure for the town.

Battleford Chief Administrative Officer John Enns-Wind told the News-Optimist work on securing funding for the lagoon project began a few years ago, and the lagoon project was approved as part of the town’s 2019 capital budget earlier this year.

Work on the project is planned to begin this fall and be completed by 2020.

Despite the governmental funding announcement, the town isn’t completely out of the woods, as the grant from the federal government is still conditional, Enns-Wind said.

Additional conditions could include another environmental assessment or more Aboriginal consultation.

Enns-Wind said the government had not yet provided the town with what the additional conditions might be. However, the town is allowed to tender out the project.

Federal funding for the project comes as part of Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. Increased infrastructure funding was a Liberal pledge during the previous federal election.

Mayor Ames Leslie thanked MLA Herb Cox for securing funding for the project, and Cox went “to bat for [Battleford] in his last year of being in office.”

The funding, Leslie said, is “a tremendous gift to the taxpayers of the town of Battleford,” and he said $4 million will stay in the town’s reserves for future projects.    

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