Grant money must be spent on pump station

The District of Kent would like to provide some clarification to a letter to the editor.

The District of Kent would like to provide some clarification to a letter to the editor in the July 20, 2012 edition of the Observer regarding funding toward the Hammersley Pump Station upgrade.

Early this year we learned that the District was successful in achieving grant funding in the amount of $330,000. This money from the federal and provincial governments is provided to cover two-thirds of the cost of building a new floodbox and competing a detailed, shelf-ready design of a new pump station at the Hammersley site.

We are pleased this grant funding has been achieved. Without this federal and provincial tax money coming back into the community, the entire burden for this work would fall to the local taxpayer at the municipal level and; therefore, would simply not be feasible.

The process for upgrading this aging infrastructure dates back to at least 1983. Since then there has also been a recognized need to increase pumping capacity. Grant funding was applied for based on recommendations from the drainage committee and with Council’s endorsement.

Senior government requirements are very specific when it comes to spending grant monies. Once received these dollars must be expended on the project applied for and cannot be diverted to other areas in spite of their merit. We all agree there are other areas in our community that may benefit from improvements to drainage.

As further clarification, the District at this point has not received grant funding in the amount of five to 15 million dollars.

John Van Laerhoven

Mayor, District of Kent