A $2.2-million construction project to bring water from the hamlet of Villeneuve to its airport is finally taking flight.
The project is funded by the Alberta government’s Municipal Stimulus Program with the goal of attracting more business to the area, creating more jobs and diversifying the businesses in the Villeneuve region.
“Having a dedicated water supply will allow for the airport to expand and attract new business,” said Alanna Hnatiw, Sturgeon County’s mayor, at Thursday’s announcement. “It will allow the current tenants the opportunity to plan and expand their own business and it will allow Sturgeon County to move forward with plans to develop the land surrounding the airport.”
The project will build a waterline transporting water directly to the airport, instead of the current method of transporting an average of 465 m3 of water per month by truck. The waterline will run on the north side of Highway 633 to Range Road 270.
“Today is not just about a waterline. Today is about celebrating a project that will help bring a bold vision for the Villeneuve region closer to reality,” said Hnatiw.
Sturgeon County will be working with Edmonton Regional Airports Authority to operate the water and sewer network system. Steve Maybee, vice president, operations and infrastructure with Edmonton Regional Airports Authority, said the waterline is a signal of the confidence in Villeneuve Airport’s potential.
“Villeneuve Airport provides vital general aviation and flight training services, creating economic development, diversification opportunities and reducing infrastructure and it reduces the commercial traffic and congestion at the international airport, so there is a synergy between the two airports,” said Maybee.
Shane Getson, MLA for Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland, said the waterline is about recovery and having jobs in “their own backyard.” He adds the project is just the beginning and the region will continue to grow.
“These little airports, they generate so much wealth, so much interest and as Mayor Hnatiw had mentioned, we have so many innovative companies that are coming up here,” said Getson. “If you want jobs, if you want job creation, if you want to get into the aerospace sector, defence, aviation itself, there’s nothing better than this right here.”
Construction is set to begin at the end of July with the waterline completed in October 2021, according to a news release.
Following the announcement of the construction project, Getson also said the airport will host a major event on Aug. 21 and 22, the Alberta International Air Show. He said the air show is just the beginning and it will become a major event in the Edmonton area, as the Calgary Stampede is in Calgary.
“Down south they got the cowboys, up here we got the pilots,” said Getson.