Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury Council unanimously passed a motion to ask York Region to speed up planning and construction of the proposed Holland Marsh Phosphorous Recycling Facility.
The motion also requests provincial funding for the project expected to cost over $42 million to build.
The Regional Municipality of York will contribute $24 million, and the federal government $16 million, to construct the storm water treatment facility that will reduce runoff from Holland Marsh into Lake Simcoe and protect the lake’s watershed from excessive algae growth.
The Holland Marsh as a critical point load of phosphorus, contributing an average of six tonnes a year., according to a federal government news release. Lake Simcoe is the largest inland lake in southern Ontario outside of the Great Lakes. The watershed is home to more than 435,000 people.
“This project alone will reduce phosphorus runoff into Lake Simcoe by 40 per cent, cutting algae growth in the lake’s watershed, preserving fish habitat and protecting a major source of drinking water,” Katharine McKenna said the funding announcement last fall. “We simply have to invest now in infrastructure that protects Canadians, our environment, and the biodiversity of our ecosystems.”
Local councillors say the plant is needed to preserve the health of Lake Simcoe as residential development continues in Innisfil, Bradford-West Gwillimbury and surrounding communities.
According to proponents, the proposed facility would reduce phosphorous runoff into the Holland River and Lake Simcoe by up to 40 per cent, protecting the Lake’s watershed from algae growth, which will better protect the region’s aquatic habitat, increase ecosystem biodiversity, and proect drinking water sources.
“I think it’s a win-win for everybody,” said Deputy Mayor James Leduc, who said he was looking forward to the motion carrying through the province. “To me, this is a project that should have been looked at a long time ago.”