Craik gets $1.4M grant for water fix

Craik Mayor David Ashdown (at centre, in grey suit) joined with other mayors from across the province for Wednesday's funding announcement.

Craik Mayor David Ashdown (at centre, in grey suit) joined with other mayors from across the province for Wednesday’s funding announcement.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK — A federal-provincial grant totalling more than $1.42 million is opening up new possibilities for Craik as the town continues to move towards restoring its potable water.

Besides the clear financial benefit, Mayor David Ashdown said it was a sign of confidence in the town’s future.

“I see this as a statement by both senior levels of government that Craik is a viable community,” said Ashdown. “It’s a community that’s worth investing in, from their perspective.”

Ralph Goodale, federal minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, and Donna Harpauer, provincial minister of government relations and minister responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs, announced the grant in Regina on Wednesday.

A total of 28 new projects in cities, towns and villages across the province will receive grants, through either the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) or the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

“Infrastructure is the foundation of the Canada we all want to build for tomorrow,” Goodale was quoted, saying the projects funded thusly would “protect the environment, keep our communities healthy and livable, and will create well-paying jobs for the middle class.”

For Craik’s grant, the federal government will contribute 50 per cent, or $950,659, while the province will contribute 25 per cent, or $475,329. The rest of the funding will come from the town’s water fund, bringing the total to more than $1.9 million.

The grant represents a significant financial boost and an encouraging sign as Craik seeks to end the boil water advisory that has been in place since August of 2010.

The town applied for CWWF funding late last year, though Mayor Ashdown was careful not to raise expectations beyond the realistic at the time, calling it “purely exploratory.”

Council passed a resolution in December to request a meeting with consulting engineers from KGS Group, the Regina-based firm that has been working with Craik to address its water situation.

Bearing in mind the possibility of CWWF funding, council also asked KGS to prepare “supplementary design information in the event additional funding becomes available.”

Now that funding is confirmed, Ashdown identified three main points of focus for council.

The town will explore alternate sources of water and also investigate the other treatment options outlined in KGS’s reports, previously believed to be beyond the town’s financial capacity.

Ashdown said council would also look at ways to improve, renew and renovate the delivery system that brings water to users.

For the full story, please see the Jan. 16 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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