Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant will be applying for $220 million in provincial and federal funding for its plant renewal project.

Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant general manager Ryan Johnson addressed city council on Monday night to get authorization to apply for the funding.

The funding would be through the second intake of the Investing In Canada Infrastructure Program’s (ICIP) Green Infrastructure Stream.

As part of the Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Unanimous Membership Agreement, Regina and Moose Jaw must authorize any applications for funding from other levels of government. The water treatment plant services areas as far north as Bethune, west to Mortlach, east to Sedley and south to Briercrest.

Johnson says the project remains on schedule and 20 per cent of the design has been completed and they have more accurate cost estimates. The $220 million is estimated to cover the cost of construction.

An application is being made for Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant for funding under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s Green Infrastructure Stream (File Photo)He added that without grant funding, water rates could increase by $215 to $550 per megalitre.

“With grant funding, if we were somehow able to get the maximum grant funding available, which we don’t think would be realistic, it would drop the rate to a point where we maybe need a $10 or $15 rate increase,” Johnson said.

According to Johnson, the last time the water treatment plant received funding was in 2018, when they received $20.6 million from the Provincial Territorial Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund.

A clause was made in the motion that authorization would be granted as long as it does not jeopardize any of the city’s ICIP applications.

Johnson felt it should not interfere with any of the city’s applications because the ICIP application says projects of regional nature are allowed one application per funding stream and that regional projects wouldn’t count towards the other communities involved.

Jim Puffalt, city manager, explained what would happen if the governments forced the city to choose.

“It would come back to council to decide if the province and the federal governments gave us one project to choose,” Puffalt said. “But again, we are along with Buffalo Pound Water, proposing to go after every funding stream for us to apply to.”

The motion to authorize Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant to apply for ICIP funding was passed unanimously.