The Village of Telkwa will be breaking ground on a reservoir as soon as the spring after being awarded a multi-million-dollar grant from the federal government.
Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen announced the $3.6 million in Federal Gas Tax funding for the Trobak Hill Reservoir Project Friday. The hope is for it to be completed and in operation by this fall.
He took the opportunity to point out it has been a long time coming.
“Thirty-one years. It was in August of 1987 that the Village of Telkwa received a study of our water system conducted by KLM Engineering, which revealed that an elevated reservoir was needed … for fire protection in the downtown and east parts of the village,” said Repen.
“In the interim the village has grown by 50 per cent. In recent years the situation has grown so dire that our village has actually placed a moratorium on new development because of the lack of storage capacity.”
Repen said the project, funded through a federal gas tax grant, will increase capacity and be a definite boon to the Village for both residential and business development, calling it a “monumental moment for the village of Telkwa.”
“Less obvious is the work we must do to continue to grow our community, leveraging this new capacity. We’ve been working with the Telkwa Seniors Housing Society on expansion of their existing housing on the east bench; as well we have Birchwood Co-Housing Project proposed for an adjacent property,” he said.
“It’s our hope that both of these projects will now be able to move forward and to the construction phase. In addition, we’ll continue to look for new investments in our area’s zone for comprehensive development, as well as exploring opportunities for in-fill development within the footprint of our existing water and sewer infrastructure.”
The mayor also stressed the need to reduce the per capita water consumption in the village and repair leaks in existing infrastructure.
“Despite the increased storage capacity, the water still comes from our treasured river, and it is a finite resource,” said Repen.
The project, in its developmental phase, still needs to undergo consultation with Wet’suwet’en First Nation before it can secure contracts for the actual construction.
–With files from Ashley Wadhwani.