White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin speaks to a crowd of approximately 35 people at the Merklin Street well Tuesday afternoon.

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin speaks to a crowd of approximately 35 people at the Merklin Street well Tuesday afternoon.

White Rock water-treatment plans receive $11.8 million boost

Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg says the grant is the largest he can remember in the city's history

White Rock has received confirmation of joint federal and provincial funding for planned arsenic and manganese treatment facilities for its water system.

The combined $11,790,150 contribution, announced Friday, includes $7,102,500 from the federal government and $4,687,650 from the province.

The city will make up the remainder of the $14,205,000 budgeted for the facilities in negotiations with the federal and provincial governments.

Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg said it’s the largest grant he can recall the city receiving in its 60-year history.

“It’s a very significant grant – probably the largest amount of money to flow to the city,” Hogg, a former White Rock mayor, told Peace Arch News. “I don’t remember many grants in the millions.”

But Hogg said it was clear that the project is “much-needed.”

“This is really an investment in the health of people in our community – we can move forward now. The city is moving forward to make sure they have all the delivery systems in place.”

The city held a press conference at the Merklin Street well Friday afternoon to announce the financial contributions.

“This is truly amazing,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin said. “I really want to thank our federal, provincial partners for their support in this final project.”

The city acquired the utility from Epcor in October 2015. A purchase price was not disclosed.

A news release posted to the city’s website just before 5 p.m. Friday notes an advance payment of $14 million was made, and the city “continues to work with the previous owners on a final purchase price.”

– with files from Aaron Hinks