By Goat Staff (with files from Village of Valemount)

Valemount Council has cleared a huge hurdle for the Valemount Senior Citizen’s Housing Society (VSCHS) to help them build new seniors housing.

The Society hopes to obtain funding to build an affordable housing complex for seniors on the large, vacant Village-owned lot, located immediately south of Valemount Secondary School.

Council agreed to set aside this Village-owned land for the society if they obtained grant funding for the project. But during a review of the proposed site by VSCHS and Village staff, it was discovered the parcel lacked sewer service and that would hinder the society’s funding application.

During the In Camera portion of the Dec. 8, 2020 regular Council meeting, Council approved the motion “That Council resolve to install a lift station to service the Subject Property (PID 016-700- 058), to support the Valemount Senior Citizen’s Housing Society (VSCHS) and potential future economic opportunities on the Subject Property, by committing $660,000 from the Northern Capital Planning Grant and $126,500 from the Trans Mountain Community Benefit Agreement, if the VSCHS is awarded funding for the affordable housing development.”

Council agreed that funding a sewer lift station to provide sewer services to the Subject Property, using existing grants and funding received from the Community Benefits Agreement received from Trans Mountain Expansion Project, would strengthen VCSHS’s project application.

“If VCSHS is successful in receiving their desired funding, our seniors will finally be able to age in place in a dedicated, affordable housing facility,” the Village said in a press release.

“We are investing in those (our seniors), who invested in us,” said Mayor Owen Torgerson.

The Village press release says Council also recognizes installing a sewer lift station will also ‘unlock’ the economic potential of a significant portion of the Village.

“A lift station servicing this 52-acre parcel will allow for the full build out of VCSHS’s master plan, as well as future housing projects and potential commercial developments.”