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Cumberland gets $7 million grant for wastewater upgrades

Cumberland’s wastewater treatment lagoon is getting a $7 million upgrade.

The village has been awarded $7.1 million from the Environmental Quality stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP-EQ).

The funds will go to what the village calls “a high performance upgrade” to the lagoon. 

The project will upgrade Cumberland’s existing system to meet current regulatory standards, handle large combined storm-sewer flows, and provide capacity for population growth. 

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It will also remove emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals. 

The final treated water will be distributed to the natural wetlands adjacent to the lagoon, and then flow naturally into Maple Lake Creek. 

The village says this will restore the natural summer “wet” conditions to this drained wetland, and facilitate habitat restoration and enhancement of the area.

The federal government is funneling nearly $3.9 million and the province is contributing over $3.2 million towards the $9.7 million project.

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The village has saved over $1.2 million in reserves to contribute to the capital costs of the project. 

Last fall, 76 percent of voters voted ‘yes’ in a referendum to borrow the remaining funds to cover the Village’s share of the cost.

Mayor Leslie Baird said the village worked hard to find a ‘made in Cumberland’ treatment solution that is affordable to taxpayers.

“In 2016 and 2017, local residents participated with technical experts to develop and choose the best option for our wastewater treatment,” Baird said. 

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“This process resulted in an approach to treatment upgrades that meets both the environmental needs and the community’s aspirations at the lowest overall cost.”

Baird expressed her gratitude to community volunteers, adding that “now with the help of the federal and provincial government’s funding we can implement the entire project and achieve our long held goal of an environmentally sound means of treating Cumberland’s wastewater.”

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