PEI

Apply or get off the pot: Why Charlottetown couldn't wait for Stratford sewage decision

The mayor of Charlottetown says a proposed expansion of the wastewater plant will cost more than $12 million.

City included Stratford in request for $12.6M wastewater expansion even though no deal has been reached

Last June, Charlottetown applied to Ottawa for an expansion of its wastewater treatment plant that would allow Stratford to process its waste there. At the time, Stratford was exploring options to build its own plant or ship its waste to Charlottetown. (Pat Martel/CBC)

Charlottetown has already applied to Ottawa for an expansion of the wastewater treatment plant that would allow Stratford to process its waste there, despite no deal being reached yet with the neighbouring town.

Mayor Clifford Lee said the city applied last June for $6.3 million of federal infrastructure money, in what
he says would be a $12.6 million project. The city and province would split the remaining $6.3 million, he said.

Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee says when the application was made, the general consensus was Stratford would ship its waste to Charlottetown. (CBC)

Lee said when the application was made, the general consensus was Stratford would ship its waste to Charlottetown.

We had to proceed at some point in order to access the money before the rest of the province took the money and ... the City of Charlottetown was left with nothing.- Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee

"We had to proceed at some point in order to access the money before the rest of the province took the money and ... the City of Charlottetown was left with nothing," he said.

Stratford Mayor David Dunphy said he did not want to comment on Mayor Lee's decision. But he sent documents to CBC showing that in June, Stratford requested federal funding for both shipping waste to Charlottetown and building its own sewage plant. At that time, the town was still weighing both options. 

But the province didn't support the town building its own plant, so the request for funding for that option didn't advance.

Lee said Charlottetown and Stratford are still negotiating. 

"If we get the approval and the Town of Stratford is definitely onside, then I would anticipate that we would immediately go to request for proposals for engineering services," he said.

The City of Charlottetown says the expansion to the wastewater treatment plant on Riverside Drive would cost $12.6 million. (Pat Martel/CBC)

Lee said the $12.6 million will allow the Stratford project to proceed, as well as the expansion to accommodate the East Royalty lagoon being transferred into the pollution-control plant.

Lee said he doesn't know when Ottawa might reply to the request.

With files from Laura Chapin

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