Pump funding project gets nod

Project to replace Hammersley pump still not a done deal, say Kent district staff

One councillor opposed a request by staff to fund the Hammersley pump station expansion with various financial sources within the District.

While 67 per cent of the costs would be covered by Emergency Management B.C., one third would be the responsibility of the District of Kent, a cost of $1,430,000.

To fund the project, staff has proposed $300,000 from the Agassiz drainage fund surplus, $600,000 from the general revenue reserves, and $265,200 from both the diking fund surplus and the community works gas tax funds.

Staff outlined that the project is a significant part of the District’s flood protection infrastructure.

But Coun. Darcy Striker questioned why the funding should come from residents in the downtown, for example, when the upgrade of the station only seems to benefit a small portion of residents. He voted in opposition.

Mick Thiessen, director of engineering, said a weather event would affect everyone through impacted infrastructure, food supply and environmental concerns.

Coun. Duane Post brought up concerns that the pump plans still aren’t sitting well with local farmers, who believe the pump should be operated at a lower level.

“You think we’d learn after 40 years,” he said.

Mayor Van Laerhoven called the funding plan a “good first step.”

Coun. Lorne Fisher was absent.

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