The District of Sechelt is one step closer to the construction of a new wastewater treatment facility.
On Tuesday afternoon, the District issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the design and construction of a new wastewater treatment facility.
“This RFP is a key step in achieving our mandate of building an industry-leading, world class, innovative wastewater treatment facility,” said Sechelt Mayor John Henderson. “The opportunity to potentially convert what is currently a waste product into a resource is an exciting enhancement that will benefit the people and environment of Sechelt and lead the way for other communities.”
According to the District, the RFP directs proponents to design a state of the art facility that includes the highest standards of any municipality in B.C. for energy efficiency and odour and noise control. The effluent and biosolids produced will meet the highest quality standards that currently exist in B.C. This opens up the widest possible range of options for the beneficial reuse of both, in keeping with project sustainability objectives.
According to Henderson, a key aspect of the RFP is the level of innovation being proposed in terms of the technology solution, economic development and additional community benefits for Sechelt.
The RFP allows that the proponents may propose a treatment plant at either Ebbtide Street or Lot L on Dusty Road — to maximize the possibilities for innovative solutions. Either location must meet the same standards for noise, control, site appearance, reliability, etc. Septage will continue to be received at the existing plant at Upper Dusty Road.
The RFP has been issued to five firms that prequalified in a request for expressions of interest process earlier in 2012.
“This is a very significant step and one that council is very excited about,” Henderson added. “We took a step back after the request for expressions of interest process and thought that there were some more opportunities to be innovative and have firms come up with some truly inspired proposals. We want to see this project be something that could have some significant economic benefits for Sechelt.”
Henderson said many other communities across the province are facing the same challenges that Sechelt is with regards to growth and aging infrastructure.
“Here’s a chance for a firm to come up with a state-of-the-art innovative project, one that could be the testing site for other projects across the country,” Henderson said.
Responses to the RFP are to be submitted by Oct. 31.
From there an evaluation committee will review all the proposals with a recommendation hopefully going back to council by the end of November.
According to the District, this project will be the largest capital project in Sechelt’s history. Funding for the project will come from the District’s reserves plus $11.2 million in grants from the Canada - British Columbia - Union of British Columbia Municipalities Gas Tax Innovations Fund ($8 million) and the Building Canada Fund ($3.2 million).
“This project will be great not just because it will allow the community to grow, but because of the spinoff benefits, and that is the real bonus for us,” Henderson said.