$24 million infrastructure upgrades in growing city of Inverness
Water and sanitation infrastructure in the city of Inverness, NS is getting a $24 million upgrade thanks to funding from three tiers of government.
The money will be used by the city to build a new sewage treatment plant and drinking water supply lines in the Western Cape Breton parish.
The original infrastructure was built in the 1970s and needs to be replaced, said Inverness Borough Officer Bonny MacIsaac.
“It means we can grow as a community,” MacIsaac said. “We will have clean drinking water. We will have a sewage treatment plant that is not working at full capacity. room to grow. So we can look at housing development.
An Antigone developer stopped a large housing development for lack of adequate infrastructure more than two years ago. The rapid residential and commercial growth fueled by the Cabot golf courses has strained system capacity.
MacIsaac said the federal and provincial funding has been a long time coming, but it is also welcome because a recent report found the community had a $103 million infrastructure deficit.
“I’m just very grateful that we’re finally at that stage in Inverness,” she said.
The city’s fire station was packed with residents cheering the announcement.
The county is contributing $6.5 million, the Nova Scotia government is adding $8.1 million, and the federal government is contributing $9.8 million.
Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster, who is also the province’s deputy prime minister and finance minister, said the work will finally solve a long-standing problem.
“I can tell you the main problem I’ve always heard about Inverness was the water and now something as simple as a good source of drinking water, put the whites in the washing machine and let it come out white,” he said. “The simple pleasures of life.”
Cape Breton-Canso Rep. Mike Kelloway said he began work on the funding just days after he was elected in 2019.
Winning a deal means the economy doesn’t have to be sacrificed for the environment, he said.
Kelloway said the work will not only provide better pollution control in the community, but will also create jobs and have a lasting economic impact on the county.
“Sewage isn’t a sexy thing…but boy is it affecting everyone.
“Everyone is influenced by when they invest or not invest, buy a home or start a business.”
The work is scheduled to begin this year.
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