An aerial view of flooding in Pitt Meadows in 2005.

An aerial view of flooding in Pitt Meadows in 2005.

Pitt Meadows needs new pump for polder

City applying for grant to replace Pitt Polder pump station which was built in 1952

The City of Pitt Meadows is submitting a grant application to the New Building Canada Plan to help with the $6-million cost of replacing the Pitt Polder pump station.

Council approved the funding request recommendation at a committee meeting Tuesday.

In addition to approving the grant application, Mayor Deb Walters says council emphasized staff must develop a “contingency plan”, complete with timeline, for what would have to happen “should there be an emergency.”

Council’s added recommendation was in response to a report by director of finance and facilities Mark Roberts who said staff should know about the risks in the event of a pump station failure.

Constructed in 1952, the pump station provides agricultural land drainage and flood protection for Pitt Meadows.

But it’s so old, the city is having trouble obtaining equipment or spare parts for repairs, Roberts added. Neither is there any back-up power in the event of prolonged power failure.

If the city gets the grant, replacement costs could be reduced by as much as two-thirds.

Roberts’ report warns however that the city has tried to get federal and provincial funding for the same issue in the past and failed.

The most recent attempt was in May when the city made an application for funding under the Emergency Management BC Flood Protection Program.

“Even though the project was deemed to be eligible and demonstrated merit, the application was not approved due to the program being over-subscribed.

“In total, 65 applications were received and funding availability was limited to 26,” he states.

The New Building Canada Plan more than $53 billion for a 10-year period beginning this year.