High River council has put off a decision on increased funding for design work on a new wastewater treatment plant.

Mayor Craig Snodgrass says the ponds near the Cargill plant need to be improved.

"Alberta Environment is requesting that we, and have been for years and years, requesting that we upgrade the facilities so that we can deal with phosphorous and ammonia discharge, lower those levels through a new facility," he explained.

Snodgrass pointed out the Town had set aside money for a pilot project so it wouldn't have to go to a full mechanical waste treatment facility because that could double the cost of what the Town's looking at now, an upgraded and technologically improved pond or lagoon system that's being used now.

"Administration was asking for a $300,000 expenditure approval for for preliminary design and councillor Nychyk made a great point that if this is a preliminary design so that we can get an application in with Alberta Environment but then when we have to go to detailed design how much is that going to be and staff estimated that at at least triple of what the $300,000 was, which isn't uncommon, you look at a $19-million upgrade ten per cent of that is going to be your engineering and design costs, that's pretty standard."

The mayor says if Alberta Environment wants the Town to meet these targets they should be willing to help a town of 15,000 figure out how to pay for a $19-million project.