New federal funding announced on Thursday means Hay River can plan to replace its water treatment plant and Inuvik’s pool will be repaired.
Projects across the NWT received more than $2 million in combined federal funding. A basketball court and walking trail in Fort Smith will be resurfaced, while Fort Simpson will get a splash park, playground, and gathering area, alongside insulation for its pool.
Kakisa’s Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation receives an arbour to host cultural celebrations and activities. Inuvik’s Tusaayaksat building, home to the Inuvialuit Communications Society, will be upgraded.
Chief Lloyd Chicot of the Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation said the arbour is something “people here have wanted for a long time.”
“We’ve built a community centre but we also wanted to build a community gathering place where people could come to do activities, like just getting together four times a year in our community,” he said.
“We also have gone [on] community hunts, so there’s a chance for people to gather there to cook food and that kind of stuff.”
Chicot said the school will be able to use the arbour to work with students.
Inuvik’s pool receives the largest chunk of funding at $750,000. The pool has been closed for months because of lingering issues.
The town said in October “there is no quick fix to the current problems,” without specifying the full set of issues.
Meanwhile, the Town of Hay River has been told by the territorial government it may need up to $15 million to replace its current water treatment facility.
Last year, the town’s residents spent more than 100 days under boil-water advisories, largely related to high water levels and increased muddiness in the water.
At the time, a representative from the NWT’s Department of Municipal and Community Affairs said a new, “modernized” facility would address the town’s water quality concerns.
Thursday’s funding will pay for a feasibility study to “assess the potential construction” of a new water treatment facility and look at other options to improve water treatment in Hay River.