Phase One of Castlegar’s over-$2-million airport-land servicing project is underway, and city officials spent some time this morning showing off the progress being made.
“Phase One is the hanging of the utilities under the (Kinnaird) bridge, being done by Acres Enterprises in conjunction with Seismic 2000,” said city councillor Kevin Chernoff. “Some of the funds required to facilitate the project were accessed through a Towns of Tomorrow Grant, which helped offset the costs. We must also acknowledge that, without the very supportive efforts of the Ministry of Transportation, this project would not have been possible.”
Chernoff answered recent criticism of the project by emphasizing the importance of economic diversification in the city, which he said means providing the amenities that will attract new business and commerce.
“I personally know of a business we lost within the last 30 days because we didn’t have five acres of land within the municipality that would meet their requirements,” he said. “We have empty properties within the city, but they tend to be smaller properties and smaller buildings. It’s important we develop all opportunities, not just the ones that are politically expedient.”
A 400mm (16-inch) water main is being installed on one side of the bridge, with additional capacity for future demands. This pipe will also be insulated with heat tracing cable, so no freezing can occur.
On the other side, an eight-inch sanitary main (also sized for future flows) and conduits for communications and power will be installed.
“The Airport and Doukhobor Museum lands are currently serviced by a traditional septic and disposal field system and, although the airport has had suitable water for present, the Doukhobor Museum itself has been on bottled water,” Chernoff said. “With the expanded system, we will also be able to meet present and future needs as required for expansion and fire protection, along with protecting the aquifer.
“These infrastructure enhancements were identified as priorities to support improved and expanded commercial and industrial growth, as well as to support the continued actions of this and previous Councils on the future of Health Care facilities in our region,” Chernoff added. “This project is in keeping with the direction of the Official Community Plan that the city has recently completed through an extensive public consultation process, and was identified as a priority back as far as 2007 by the community and council.”