July 23rd, 2024

Coaldale receives $4.5M for water infrastructure


By Cal Braid - Southern Alberta Newspapers Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on June 28, 2024.

Southern Alberta Newspapers photo - Traffic travels along an already-twinned portion of Highway 3 next to the McCain plant east of Coaldale. Municipalities along the route are preparing for development as the province undertakes twinning of the highway.

With twinning of Highway 3 now underway, municipalities along the route are preparing for the surge of activity that will accompany it.

Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter met this week with Coaldale officials at the town’s Civic Square to hand off a grant cheque for $4.5 million for a new treated reservoir and pump station.

“This will not be the last that you see of the work that we’re doing for the government in this area. As I’ve said many times, this will be one of the most coveted real estates in North America because of the work in agri-food processing and development. The Province has already invested in the expansion of over 280,000 irrigated acres in southern Alberta,” said Hunter.

The twinning of Highway 3 between Taber and Burdett is just the first phase in a project that should see the highway expand to four lanes from Alberta’s border with Saskatchewan to the western B.C. line.

Hunter made a similar appearance earlier the same day in Stirling, where investments into the water treatment system have been ongoing since 2023. The McCain plant just east of town is currently at work on a $600 million expansion and an automated warehouse and logistics facility by NewCold is expected to open in the not-too-distant future.

Mayor Jack Van Rijn and town council stepped to the stage for the cheque presentation, after which the mayor spoke, saying, “I’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to Minister Dreeshen, MLA Hunter and the Government of Alberta for recognizing the importance of funding water and wastewater infrastructure projects, not just in Alberta’s major cities, but in small and rural communities across the province as well.”

He called the $4.5 million “an investment in the health, safety, and long-term prosperity of our community.” He said that excluding allowances for fire protection, the town’s daily water demands will exceed capacity in the next five years.

“As we continue to grow and welcome new families, businesses, and opportunities, it is imperative that our infrastructure keeps pace,” the mayor said.

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