The Town of Sexsmith has been awarded $1.4 million in grant funding to go towards the reservoir expansion and pumphouse project in the county. The funding will be used to work on the water intake between Wembley and Beaverlodge.
Sexsmith Mayor Kate Potter says the town is the stakeholder in Aquatera who applied for the funding, but the project will benefit the entire region.
“We were really excited to get provincial funding for that because it really comes down to building resiliency,” Potter says. “If our current pumphouse goes down we have to use reservoirs and you only have a limited amount of water in your reservoir. So we want to expand that and to ensure our pump house will not go down – obviously, water is a huge part of our lives and without reliable water infrastructure we are not setting ourselves up well for the future.”
Potter explains a comment which has stuck with her about water in the region came from former City of Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given; explaining the benefit of having Aquatera in the region, with a group of municipalities working together, is never having to wake up and think about water because it should come on its own.
“If we can make sure our residents don’t have to think about water, that’s a good thing. We know that it’s reliable, that it’s safe, and it is provided to everybody who is connected to the system,” Potter says.
Potter says the next steps include finalizing the plans and getting the work started. She explains this will be a “long haul” because these are not small projects being undertook. The total cost for the work is around $67 million.