By Laura Keil

Trans Mountain is contributing more money to local infrastructure, and has agreed to pay up to $1.1 million to pave the remaining unpaved portions of 17th avenue.

The paving project is on top of $1.2 million Trans Mountain committed last year for the purchase and installation of a Potable Water Filling Station and Septage Receiving Station in the village, infrastructure it is now using to service the 600-worker accommodation camp located 5km south of town.

Construction of the municipal water and sanitary sewer upgrades were completed in fall 2020 and are currently being used by the camp community and contractor yard.

Trans Mountain says the road upgrades are in recognition of the temporary increase in vehicle traffic related to the camp community and contractor yard along this road, which is used to access the sewage treatment plant. The Village says the competitive process for the road paving contract is now underway.

“There is a significant need in our community for future development, and without the help of these upgrades, it would be extremely challenging to make that happen,” said Wayne Robinson, Chief Administration Officer, Village of Valemount. “A new paved roadway provides an immediate benefit for the community as well as a legacy to Valemount and helps future opportunities and development.”

Robinson says the entirety of 17th Ave will be paved as well as the sewage dumping and water filling stations (the latter was included in the previous work).

“We are pleased to have this agreement with Trans Mountain,” said Owen Torgerson, Mayor, Village of Valemount. “With this new septic infrastructure, it alleviates the need for water and septic sewage transport and the associated traffic. The new water and sewer stations will provide a new revenue source for the Village, and these funds will be used towards additional much-needed infrastructure upgrades.”

Robinson said 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 previously told the Goat.

Trans Mountain’s camp community near Valemount, BC is operating on land owned by Valemount Community Forest Company Ltd., of which the Village of Valemount is its sole shareholder. The site is operated by Tsetsk’wem Management Services – a Joint Venture between Simpcw Resource Group and ATCO, a partnership formed specifically for the Expansion Project.

The 2.3 million infrastructure agreements for the water, sewer and road improvement are in addition to local taxes, landowner compensation and a $185,000 Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) with the Village of Valemount that will go towards funding community projects. The agreement includes $135,000 to support the eventual development of community housing on a parcel of Village-owned land, located directly south of the high school, and $50,000 in education funding to support students in the trades, technology and environmental programs related to the pipeline industry.

The Village of Valemount is part of Trans Mountain’s North Thompson construction spread that includes approximately 275 kilometres of pipeline construction between Mount Robson Provincial Park and our Darfield Pump Station north of Kamloops, as well as three pump stations.