The City of Alberni's purchase of the wastewater treatment facility and additional lands from Catalyst Paper’s Port Alberni mill site was finalized on September 30. An initial payment of $5 million will be followed by payment of the remaining $750,000 next year on the first anniversary of the closing date. As well, the city will provide tax certainty to Catalyst at 2012 levels for five years.
With the agreements in place the city will now finalize and be eligible to draw on the $11.2 million grant provided by the federal government in 2012 to integrate Catalyst's lagoon with the city's wastewater treatment infrastructure and improve the city's compliance with the BC Municipal Sewage Regulations and new federal regulations.
As part of the agreement, Catalyst has committed to accept sludge from the lagoon at no additional cost to the city prior to renovations beginning.
Also included with the agreement are land and a road dedication to enable the city to pursue the development of an industrial road along the waterfront.
Mayor John Douglas acknowledged the cooperative efforts between the city and Catalyst in reaching this agreement and said: “This is a major step forward for the city in reaching key strategic priorities identified by Council. Our wastewater treatment system will receive significant upgrades, increasing capacity and improving water quality in the Alberni Harbour and Somass Estuary."
“We are pleased to arrive at the final stages of this jointly beneficial agreement," says Catalyst president and CEO Joe Nemeth. “It addresses the city's need for infrastructure while enabling Catalyst to focus on core operations."
Catalyst Paper manufactures diverse specialty mechanical printing papers, newsprint and pulp from three locations in British Columbia.