Cumberland seeks residents’ approval to borrow $2.5M for wastewater upgrades

Cumberland seeks residents' approval to borrow $2.5M for wastewater upgrades
Village of Cumberland
Photo of the water waste management project.

The Village of Cumberland is seeking approval from residents to borrow additional funds in order to complete what it calls critical upgrades to the community’s wastewater infrastructure.

The Wastewater Upgrades Project ,according to a press release, states that the upgrades are required to meet provincial treatment standards and avoid future fines.

The project has been underway since 2021, but recently it’s been hit by a series of factors impacting the budget, including increased materials costs, unexpected site conditions, and partial re-design to address climate resiliency, according to the village.

The municipality is now saying that the cost of Phase 1 for the project has increased to an estimated $16.7 million, from the previously-approved $14.5 million.

Cumberland mayor and council is seeking to borrow $2.5 million to cover the increased cost, and include a buffer in case of further increases. Elector approval is required to borrow these funds.

If approved, the proposed $2.5 million loan would result in an increase of $113 per year to the proposed wastewater parcel tax that will start in 2026. This increase is in addition to the borrowing previously approved in 2018 for an estimated parcel tax of $199 per year.

“Our wastewater system requires updating or the village could face significant fines in the future, we really don’t have an option here,” said Mayor Vickey Brown in a statement.

“We’re asking residents to allow us to borrow these funds instead of depleting our savings. This way, the village is still able to respond to other important needs in the community,” she said.

If 10 per cent of electors, which equates to 348 residents submit a form denying the loan, the village will not be able to proceed with the borrowing unless approved via a referendum.

More information on the project can be found on the Village of Cumberland website.

SEE ALSO: ‘Not an easy decision’: Village of Cumberland to close popular sani-dump station

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