CFTK-TV: MLA, Council Concerned Over Aging Prince Rupert Infrastructure

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February 19, 2015 | Devon Johnson | CFTK-TV

Prince Rupert infrastructure is in need of repair. Long time issues with bridges and roads, waterlines and the airport have been plaguing the city for years. MLA Jennifer Rice spoke during question period in the Legislature addressing the government’s lack of attention to the problems.

Prince Rupert may be a century old, but that doesn’t mean its infrastructure has to be says North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice.

“We’re in a huge defecit as far as infrastructure goes and I think now is the time the province has been promising these great big things for the city of Prince Rupert, but yet we can barely keep up with our infrastructure to sustain our current population.”

A population that is drastically declining — which means not enough tax dollars to repair the city’s roads, bridges, and waterlines.

City Councillor Barry Cunnigham explains.

“There’s two types of grants, ones the Building Canada Fund which is a matching grant system. We put in third, they put in a third, and the provincial government puts in a third.”

The city has applied for a grant from the Building Canada Fund to begin the Bridge Replacement Project. The wooden bridges on Second and Sixth Avenue are in need of repair as they’re coming close to 70 years old.

“With the pressure that’s going to be put on our infrastructure with the prospect of LNG or any of these other major projects coming, the lifespan of the bridges or any other infrastructure, the pressure’s on them is going to be huge.”

Another major concern? Clean drinking water.

“Every community deserves to have fresh and reliable and clean drinking water and when that’s put in jeapoardy the entire health of our community is put at risk. It’s something that needs to be imminently dealt with.”

Which is why the city’s priority is the Raw Water Supply Project which needs funding from the Building Canada Fund.

“The infrastructure coming from Woodworth, the dam is almost 100 years old, the pipeline is very old. They need to be replaced. That project alone is I believe in the vicinity of 12 million dollars.”

“We don’t have primary sewage treatment in most of the city. There’s only a small section of the city that has the bares bones of sewage treatment. So we’re in a huge defecit as far as infrastructure goes. ”

With the potential of thousands of workers coming to the city for LNG projects, councillors hope to receive the funding very soon.

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