Plans to expand a low-pressure sewer system into the Oak Bluff Agribusiness Park are being heralded as good news by local business owners.
The RM of Macdonald is considering spending $608,400 on sewer lines for the park to help attract more businesses to the area.
G. J. Vis Enterprises Inc. president George Vis said news the expansion may soon be going ahead is long overdue.
"The day we purchased here 12 years ago we were told that a sewer system was imminent," he said.
"Even though it took a while to get to it, I would say we are really in favour of it."
Vis has had to pay to have sewage pumped and trucked out of his septic field since his business was established, which he said is more costly and not always reliable.
Macdonald chief administrative officer Tom Raine said even though many businesses in the area had previously requested a sewer system, the project was not feasible until recently.
"They have been waiting for this project for years," he said. "The difficulty we had was that we didn’t have available capacity close to the area.
"But with the construction of the new lagoon in Oak Bluff two years ago and an extension of the sewer collection line along McGillivray Boulevard we are now within striking distance.
"We are still in the approval process for this project. A local improvement has been proposed, council has given it first reading, and a hearing has already been held. All that remains is shipping it off the Manitoba Municipal Board for approval."
Vis said that he has yet to determine the difference in cost between piped versus trucked sewage, but he expects the long-term benefits will outweigh the costs.
"It is quite an expensive project and it will take a long time to pay it back, but I think the cost of hauling sewage is going to go up significantly, so in the long run it is probably better to pay for a sewer system now," he said.
Raine added that the municipality is hoping to start construction on the project by late summer or early fall.