EPCOR decides not to expand parking lot in Gold Bar Park

Gold Bar Park in east Edmonton is a popular area for cross-country skiers, runners and bikers. Margeaux Morin/ Global News

EPCOR said Monday at Edmonton City Hall that it will no longer move forward with a parking lot expansion that would have covered a large area of river valley parkland.

Residents previously voiced concerns about the lot proposed for Gold Bar Park.

Since the February 2018 open house, three community consultations have been held.

“We’ve committed that no expansion will occur outside the Gold Bar fence line for process or non-processing needs so that means the parking lot as well,” said Craig Bonneville, director of the Gold Bar Park treatment plant.

READ MORE: Wastewater treatment plant to expand into Gold Bar Park

While those residents were pleased to hear that update, another issue still has them worried. EPCOR plans to construct a sewage trunk line into the Gold Bar water treatment facility.

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“We are relieved to hear that the loss of parkland is not imminent but our work is certainly not finished,” Gold Bar resident Simone Klann said.

“We feel there is certainly a much bigger issue on the table that we, as a neighbourhood, are very concerned about and that is the very large sanitary sewer trunk line.”

Where EPCOR wanted to build its new parking lot. Currently employees park within the fenced-off plant. Sarah Kraus, Global News

Some residents would like EPCOR to reconsider the proposal and move the trunk line to the larger water treatment plant outside the city.

“While we’re pleased to hear that in the short-term the parkland and trails at Gold Bar Park are going to be protected and preserved, we remain deeply concerned about the future of Gold Bar Park and specifically about this proposal for a massive increase in sewage volumes, a proposal to reroute and construct a massive new sewage trunk line to Gold Bar Park instead of the facility for which it was intended,” resident Jim Rickett said.

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“We’ve got a newer sewage treatment facility that was intentionally constructed in an ideal rural location… What a fabulous opportunity we have to direct sewage to a facility that won’t negatively impact both our river valley or the public health and quality of life for our citizens.”

A community open house will be held on June 25.

The matter will head to city council on September 30.

Watch below (Feb. 19, 20126): People who live and play in or near Edmonton’s Gold Bar Park are voicing their concerns over a pungent smell wafting through the air lately. And as Margeaux Morin reports, one man says he’s learned there’s good reason to be concerned.

Click to play video: 'Acrid smell spurs concerns in Gold Bar Park'
Acrid smell spurs concerns in Gold Bar Park

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