Water and sewer grants a drop in the bucket – Alberni

Planning for Alberni's deteriorating infrastructure needs to start now, city engineer Guy Cicon said.

The city’s infrastructure is slowly deteriorating and planning and budgeting for it better start now, city engineer Guy Cicon said.

Cicon made the comments after city council approved contracts for two infrastructure projects.

The first was a $295,000 tender to Knappet Industries to replace a cluster of non-functioning valves at the Wallace/Argyle forcemain chamber.

And a $296,000 contract was awarded to Copocan Contracting to install storm sewer equipment along Wood Avenue.

“Is this the harbinger of things to come — are our systems starting to fail?” Coun. Kenn Whiteman said.

“Our systems are deteriorating over time,” Cicon replied.

City infrastructure in general has a finite life to it, Cicon said after the meeting.

“Whether it’s something mechanical or static everything eventually wears out,” he said.

“These things are getting old and will have to be replaced at some point.”

Sewage treatment plant upgrades as well as the new 4-3-2-1 water treatment requirements are examples of infrastructure that need to be seen to now.

Cicon couldn’t say how much it would cost to address the city’s aging infrastructure, and that federal infrastructure funding programs are drying up.

The city will have to pay a considerable sum even if it partners with the federal government on a project.

“One third of a big number is still a big number,” Cicon said.

“Hopefully there will still be some federal assistance available then.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com