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Feds dump $11M into biosolids facility

By: Arron Pickard - Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Dec 12, 2011 - 4:35 PM |
Finance Minister Tony Clement looks on, Dec. 12, as Mayor Marianne Matichuk says a few words, during the announcement of federal funding for upgrades to Sudbury's wastewater treatment plant. Photo by Arron Pickard

Finance Minister Tony Clement looks on, Dec. 12, as Mayor Marianne Matichuk says a few words, during the announcement of federal funding for upgrades to Sudbury's wastewater treatment plant. Photo by Arron Pickard

The federal government is pouring $11 million into a new biosolids facility in Sudbury to modernize wastewater practices.

The funding will cover 25 per cent of the total cost of a project that will see the construction of a centralized sludge treatment and biosolids end-product storage facility at the wastewater treatment plant on Kelly Lake Road. Sewage sludge is a normal end product of the sewage treatment process.

Ministry of Finance Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board and minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) said the dollars are being made available through the Public-Private Partnership (P3) Fund. Clement made the announcement at the city's wastewater treatment plant on Kelly Lake Road.

The city will be responsible for the remaining 75 per cent of the project. Ownership of the facility will remain with the city; however, once selected, private sector partners will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the biosolids management facility.

P3s are an alternative method for governments to meet public infrastructure needs, and provide the private sector with a greater role in projects like this. It offers a unique business opportunity, allowing private companies to deliver a broad range of services in different industrial sectors over a long-term concession period.

Project engineer Akli Ben-Anteur said the construction phase will take about 18 months.

Existing practices have become outdated and are no longer environmentally sustainable, and the new facility will respond to the current restraints placed on the city's disposal practices. The city has been using tailings ponds near Lively for more than 30 years as a disposal site for waste-activated sludge. Changing environmental standards and recurrent episodes of foul odour have made this method unsustainable, and the city is required to cease this practice for disposal purposes.

Clement assumed the role of Santa Claus, doling out additional funds in Sudbury to the tune of about $1.3 million for local projects including $750,000 to expand municipal infrastructure at the airport's industrial park; $276,700 for the city's Regional Business Centre, earmarked for support and outreach services; and $200,000 for Cinefest Sudbury to increase marketing initiatives.

Posted by Mark Gentili
Arron Pickard

Arron Pickard

Staff Writer

@ArronPickard

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