LONDON, ONT. -- Utility bills for ratepayers in the West Elgin community of Rodney may soon be easier to stomach, as major funding has just been announced to upgrade the local wastewater treatment plant.

Elgin County Warden Tom Marks was joined in a virtual news conference by MPs Kate Young and Karen Vecchio, along with MPP Jeff Yurek, and West Elgin Mayor Duncan Macphail, as they announced more than $2.3 million in funding from all levels of government will go to upgrade the town’s aging wastewater treatment plant

“This is going to take this plant and put it in good shape for another 50 years,” said McPhail.

In the funding breakdown, $942,000 will come from the federal government, $784,000 from the province, and $628,000 from the municipality.

McPhail said the town has been setting aside infrastructure grants for a number of years waiting for an opportunity such as this give the plant a much needed overall.

He said the 45-year-old plant has not only been causing financial grief for ratepayers, but has been holding the town back from potential growth.

“It will allow Rodney to pursue housing development. We’ll be in a position to handle that with the infrastructure if it’s been upgraded. So there’s so many spinoff things that come out of a project like this.

McPhail said work on the project will begin right away.