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Windfall for Rigaud water facility upgrade

By Jules-Pierre Malartre


Built in 1985, the existing water treatment facility is slated for an upgrade estimated to cost roughly $14.5 million.

On February 4, the Town of Rigaud held a press conference to announce it will go ahead with its project to bring the town’s water facilities up to standards.

The municipal council confirmed it had obtained a grant of$10,086,768 in contribution from the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec through the Fonds pour l’infrastructure municipale d’eau (FIMEAU) (Fund for Municipal Water Infrastructures).

Ageing infrastructure

Built in 1985, Rigaud’s water treatment plan is in near desperate need of upkeep. The planned improvements will address discharge exceedances and infrastructure upgrades in order to meet new regulatory standards and environmental requirements. The city will be investing in order to facilitate compliance to new requirements by new residential, commercial, and industrial projects.

“This initiative will have long-term benefits for all Rigaud residents and will contribute to the economic stimulus of the region,” Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Peter Schiefke announced at the onset of the press conference. “The Canadian Government is committed to working closely with municipalities and provinces in order to swiftly implant projects that will create positive changes for Canadians in these difficult times. This is why the Canadian Government has announced last August a major investment of over $300 million for over 280 projects for the distribution or treatment of drinking water, the collection of rain water, and the collection and treatment of waste waters in all Quebec regions.” Schiefke added that it was imperative to invest in essential services in order to build healthy communities.

Soulanges MNA Marilyne Picard added that the grants offered by FIMEAU would also help reduce the quantities of water wasted in underground networks. “When we understand that waste can amount to a quarter of the total quantity of water distributed, we realize that the impact of such work is as important to our economy as it is to the environment.”

Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald thanked both levels of government for the grant. “Bringing the town’s water treatment plant up to standards is necessary because it has almost reached its full wastewater treatment capacity, which prevents new residential, commercial, and industrial projects from going ahead,” Gruenwald said. “The plant was built in 1985. It is at the end of its useful life. These works are also essential in order to conform to new governmental environmental standards.” Gruenwald said work should start in 2022 and finish the following year.

Total cost

The Journal asked Mayor Gruenwald if the grant would be sufficient to cover the cost of the planned work. While he did not confirm the expected total cost of the project, he said, “You know how it works. We launch a project. We run into particular situations on the construction site. We don’t have the exact final cost, but what we have is close to reality.” A press release sent out following the press conference listed a total cost estimate of $14.5 million.

“We will make another announcement very soon, with another organization, to cover the portion that is reserved to Rigaud in order to reduce as much as possible the (financial) responsibilities of Rigaud’s residents,” Gruenwald answered.

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