Tk'emlups Indian Band flush with new wastewater-collection system
It’s a service most Kamloopsians enjoy without much thought — flushing a toilet and having the city’s sewage-treatment plant deal with the rest.
A major portion of the Tk’emlups Indian Band will now enjoy that same convenience, with the opening of the band’s new wastewater-collection system.
“I think this project has the potential to change the landscape of our land,” said TIB Chief Shane Gottfriedson at an opening ceremony on Monday, Sept. 12.
The $9.7-million project will allow the band to hook into the City of Kamloops sewage system, while paying for the share of infrastructure used.
It’s considered an extension of the agreement between the city and the band first arranged for the Sun Rivers development.
A 7.2-kilometre sewage-pipe connection will provide service to 114 existing homes, an administration building and the Sk’elep School of Excellence, all of which were previously using septic fields.
But, the project has the potential to be a major part of the TIB’s plan to expand in the future.
The new sewage system will provide service to 240 homes for a trailer park and 50 acres of unused land being eyed for development.
The land is part of the band’s Chief Louis Centre master plan that already includes a Tim Hortons Restaurant and bank.
Gottfriedson said the eventual plan could include high-end restaurants and retail operations along the land’s waterfront.
“The wheels are turning and we’re really excited what this wastewater project gives us a leg up on,” he said.
A second expansion of the wastewater-collection system for the Mount Paul Industrial Park is in planning stage, but Gottfriedson noted the band won’t approach the government for funding until the project is ready to begin.
Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar said the project is proof the partnership between the city and the TIB is not just words, but action.
“Time and again, councils on both sides of the river have shown a willingness to work together for the benefit of everyone living in the valley,” he said.
The project was 10 years in the making and was funded by $8.2 million from the federal government and $1.5 million from the band.