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Alexandria building freeze lifted, as North Glengarry Council commits to sewage lagoon project

The Alexandria Sewage Lagoon Treatment Project was presented the Township of North Glengarry’s Council on April 26. A unanimous vote was passed agreeing to immediately issue a Request for Proposal for consulting engineering services for contract administration and project management, and authorized staff to approve connections to the Alexandria wastewater collection system.

For the past 30 years, the Town of Alexandria has been under a growth freeze due to insufficient lagoon capacity, as the lagoon requires an upgrade to comply with Federal and Provincial effluence standards and improve treatment capabilities and efficiencies. In 2017, North Glengarry Township received a grant from the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund for the design of the lagoon upgrade, which resulted in engineering firm AECOM preparing the plans for the project.

Staff received notice in March of 2021, that the Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) was approved by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MOECP). Staff met with the MOE to discuss the project and next steps, at which time the MOE indicated the building freeze could now be lifted with the approval of the ECA, with the expectation that the project be finished within a period of 5 years, with the possibility of extension.

“By lifting the building freeze now, the municipality can generate some revenue and connection fees in order to help pay for the lagoon,” said Township of North Glengarry Chief Administrative Officer Sarah Huskinson. “This sustainable, phased approach to this project allows the community to grow and was unanimously supported by council.”

Council had identified the lagoon as a major priority in the 2019 Strategic Plan. The lagoon project is broken down into seven phases: site works; blower system; aeration; SAGR® system; chemical system; and tertiary treatment. Staff is hopeful that the Provincial or Federal government will have funding programs for wastewater treatment projects in the near future.

During the April 26 meeting, Council approved the project move forward using the phase-by-phase approach, with each phase being approved by Council with the corresponding funding source.

“This is a good news motion, and a long time coming,” stated Mayor Jamie MacDonald. “This is the beginning of a new day for Alexandria and North Glengarry.”

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $19 million. Upon completion the lagoon capacity will be doubled, and the effluent standards will be met.

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