IROQUOIS–With shovels in hand, three levels of government dug in here on Friday, to officially kick off the $18 million Iroquois Wastewater Treatment Plant project that will include the addition of a secondary treatment process and upgrades to increase the plant’s overall capacity, efficiency and reliability.
Performing the official ground-breaking ceremony were Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament for Stormont, Dundas & South Glengarry, Grant Crack, MPP for Glengarry, Prescott & Russell and South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds.
The project is part of the legacy left to South Dundas by the late Charles Barkley whose lobbying resulted in the procurement of 100 per cent funding split 50-50 between the federal and provincial governments.
Although the late Mayor knew the municipality had secured the funding, he passed away on June 17, 2009, just days before the official announcement was to be made.
At the 2009 announcement, MP Lauzon, said “this is Charles’ day. The fact that we are making this announcement today is a testimony to Charles Barkley. I don’t think that I ever saw Charles in the last two years that he didn’t remind me that South Dundas couldn’t afford this project. I would like to dedicate this project to the memory of Charles Barkley.”
Friday, Lauzon again acknowledged the late mayor Barkley, along with former mayor Robert Gillard and current South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds who was a member of council at the time of the funding announcement.
“Safe and reliable wastewater infrastructure will support the health and well-being of residents of South Dundas, and help to protect the St. Lawrence River,” said Lauzon, who spoke Friday on behalf of Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our government believes that investing in infrastructure is one of the best ways to create jobs in Canada, and I am pleased that this project will contribute to a cleaner environment and the economic future of this region.”
On hand to represent the province of Ontario was Grant Crack, MPP for Glengarry, Prescott & Russell.
“This project will protect the local environment, the St. Lawrence River and improve the quality of life for residents for years to come,” said Crack. “Ontario is about communities, about the families who live and work in these communities.”
Next to speak was South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds who introduced his council, deputy mayor Jim Strader, and councillors Evonne Delegarde, Jim Graham and Archie Mellan all of whom were in attendance.
Byvelds too commended the previous South Dundas council under Mayor Barkley, which included deputy mayor Robert Gillard and councillors Delbert Jones and Jim Graham and himself.
“We knew we had an environmental issue that had to be dealt with,” he said, pointing out that the late Mayor Barkley was instrumental in obtaining funding.
Byvelds also remarked that when this project is completed it will result in an entire infrastructure rebuild for South Dundas which includes the South Dundas Water Treatment Plant, the Morrisburg Wastewater Treatment Plant and now the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Iroquois.
“This is a good day for Canada, for Ontario and for South Dundas,” said Byvelds. “The project goes a long way in providing the necessary infrastructure we need to grow and prosper.”
“I look forward to the final day when we will meet here for the opening of the wastewater treatment plant.”
The government of Canada is contributing up to $9 million through the Green Infrastructure Fund toward eligible project costs and the Province of Ontario has already contributed $9 million.
The Township of South Dundas will pick up the balance of the total eligible project cost of $18,062,067.
The Green Infrastructure Fund is a key part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan which focuses on creating new opportunities for jobs and growth and securing long-term prosperity for Canadians.
The project also supports Building Together, the Government of Ontario’s long-term infrastructure plan to repair, rebuild and renew the province’s roads and highways, bridges, public transit, etc.
The Iroquois project includes the upgrading of equipment, new facilities and modifications to existing facilities and removal and replacement of the existing outfall sewer.
South Dundas CAO Steven MacDonald, who emceed Friday’s ground breaking ceremony, acknowledged project manager Ontario Clean Water Agency, project engineer AECOM and project contractor J.C. Sulpher.