By Andru McCracken

Currently, Trans Mountain contractors have been collecting potable water from a hydrant behind the Community Hall/Valemount daycare. Thanks to a $1.6M investment, a new water filling station and separate sewage receiving station will be built. The new water filling station will be located further from the daycare, close to the public works yard. The septage receiving station will be adjacent to the existing sewage treatment plant just off Ash St. near the marsh /LAURA KEIL

Council made public a $1,631,069.29 agreement with Trans Mountain to build infrastructure that will make it easier to service their construction camp with water and sewer.

An agreement that was negotiated behind closed doors between the Village of Valemount and Trans Mountain will see the company pay for the purchase and installation of a Potable Water Filling Station and Septage Receiving Station for $1,102,891.00.

They’ll pay Urban Systems Ltd $229,109.00 to engineer the project for the Village and they will also compensate the village $299,069.29 for the use of its most qualified water and sewer operators.

The Village will hire a public works employee for a three year term to ensure village staff’s productivity will not be negatively impacted by the company’s use of the Village’s water and sewage facilities during the pipeline expansion project.

Trans Mountain has committed to covering unforeseen, justified cost overages.

Chief Administrative Officer Wayne Robinson said that the Village wouldn’t typically have held this kind of discussion in camera, save that Trans Mountain had asked them to keep it confidential.

“This will reduce the amount of staff time to take care of Trans Mountain’s needs,” said Robinson.

Currently a public works member has to be at the sewer treatment plant for them to dump waste.

This system will invoice automatically, and has checks and balances in place.

“This won’t just help Trans Mountain but any other person dumping sewage,” he said.

The village is currently selling the company bulk water.

“The water filling station mechanism we have is really poor,” said Robinson.

They hook up to a fire hydrant and there is no provision for measuring how much water they use.

“Done incorrectly, it could contaminate village water,” he said.

The $1.6 million dollar deal doesn’t include water and sewage fees.

Trans Mountain will pay for processing the sewage and treating the water, and like residents, keeping the infrastructure in good order.

“One thing the public can be happy about, potentially people will have to pay less utility fees,” he said. “This will help offset that.”

Robinson said that a study shows that the village has more than enough water and sewage capacity to handle the 600- to 900-person camp.

“It won’t even come close to exceeding our limits,” he said.

If there are shortages, there are provisions for cutting off Trans Mountain to prevent hardship for residents.