Picton based photographer Steven Draper has been covering the construction of Picton’s Waste Water Treatment Plant for Maple Reinders throughout 2010. A photo album containing his magnificent photographs was shown Friday at the special ceremony marking the completion of the “bricks and mortar” part of the $29 million dollar project at Church Street, Picton. Much of the equipment is now in place and being connected up and tested. Draper captured this image of a machine called the “Muffin Monster”. It is part of the system that deals with things that should not have been flushed down the toilet. Image courtesy stevendraper/polepics ©2010 See more of Steven’s work at www.polepics.com
It’s been six years in the making and nobody was happier to attend a small celebration Friday of the completion of the “bricks and mortar” at the County’s new water pollution control plant than Picton councillor Bev Campbell and Mayor Leo Finnegan.
“It’s been six years since the start of the environmental process on this and Leo and I have been with it from the start,” said Campbell. “I must say it’s the nicest looking plant I’ve seen and I’ve seen quite a few of them across the country. It’s been quite a journey, so it’s nice to be here for this.”
In one of his last duties before handing over the mayorship to Peter Mertens, Leo Finnegan joked that in 2004 he didn’t know anything about sewage treatment and now knows more than he needs to know.
“It’s been a long struggle since we first talked about replacing the old plant built in the 40s. At the end of the day the plant costs $29 million and we’re thankful for the partnerships with the provincial and federal goverments to do the best we could to replace the plant. It’s been hard to convince the municipality that it’s being paid for by the sewage users of Picton and Wellington (about 5,000 users) and maybe there will be more funds available next March.”
Finnegan ceremoniously “started” the plant using a computer keyboard to launch a screen monitoring operations.
The project includes a new compact septage-receiving unit and equalization tank to improve septage receiving and treatment efficiency, and new measures to reduce energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The governments of Canada and Ontario together committed up to $10,320,960 to the project through the Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities will contribute up to $439,950 on behalf of the Green Municipal Fund toward the plant’s green initiatives. The County will contribute the balance of the project’s cost.
“Waste water treatment is one of the key cornerstones of a community,” said MP Daryl Kramp. “Years down the road, people will say ‘thank goodness’ money from various levels of government was available to work together to forge a partnership for success. The team concept is so important. This project will help improve the environment, health and quality of life for Picton families and future generations,” Kramp. “Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, our government is creating jobs and ensuring Ontario communities have the facilities they need to ensure future economic growth.
“Investing in public infrastructure helps build strong communities which is a key part of our government’s five-year Open Ontario plan” she said through Dave Wilson, constituency assistant. “The new Picton water pollution control plant will perform better and more efficiently, providing clean, safe water for families in Prince Edward County.”
“Prince Edward County is happy to see this very important project nearly complete, possible in part thanks to the funding partnerships we’ve been able to achieve” said Mayor Finnegan. “This project will result in more effective and efficient wastewater treatment technology for our residents, and better protection for our environment, in particular Picton Bay.”
Under the Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, the governments of Canada and Ontario worked together with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and local partners to respond to local needs through infrastructure upgrades providing clean, safe drinking water, better sewage systems, improved waste management processes, safer local roads and bridges, as well as other health and safety priorities.
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