"It's just fantastic."
Those are the words of Hanover Reeve Stan Toews following Thursday morning's announcement that a regional wastewater treatment facility will be built in the southeast.
The provincial and federal governments will contribute a combined $39 million towards the $110 million project. The remaining funds will come from the four jurisdictions benefiting from the facility; including the Rural Municipalities of Hanover, Ritchot and Tache and the town of Niverville. The four municipalities will contribute a combined $71 million and the breakdown will be determined by the use of communities.
"This achievement would not have been possible without the funding support of the provincial and federal governments," notes Toews. "So once again thank you."
Plans for the new facility were first announced in December of 2019. From that, the Red-Seine-Rat Wastewater Cooperative (RSRWC) was born. Toews serves as Chair of that board.
"This is indeed a very exciting time for the southeast region," notes Toews.
According to Hanover Administration, the facility is expected to be operational in three to four years. Toews says once complete, this should address the concern of communities running out of lagoon space.
"So people can move into Hanover, business can expand," says Toews. "We can have wet industries, like Exceldor and our cheese plants and stuff. It's terrific."
Toews says moving to a mechanical waste treatment facility will result in attracting about $1.9 billion in new capital investment. It will also add 3,400 new jobs to the region over the next decade.
The work will include the installation of a wastewater conveyance system with approximately 90 kilometres of effluent pipeline as well as new lift stations and pump stations.
"These pipes will go on municipal right of ways, like in ditches," says Toews. "So it will not take up farmland."
Once completed, the project will result in increased capacity to treat and manage wastewater and stormwater, improve the environmental stewardship of the region and encourage continued economic growth. Further, the greenhouse-gas reductions achieved by moving these regional partners away from traditional wastewater lagoons to this new mechanical wastewater treatment facility will support both Manitoba and Canada's emission reduction goals.
Toews says the four municipalities are projected to save approximately $60 million in capital costs over the next decade by eliminating the need to expand or replace aging and outdated lagoon sites in various communities.
"Building a regional wastewater collection system and plant cooperatively will also reduce public utility operational costs the moment the plant is completed," notes Toews. "Savings that will be passed along to ratepayers."