The City of Regina is considering entering a public-private partnership to fund upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant.

Next week, the city’s executive committee will consider the proposed funding model for the upgrades, which are estimated to cost up to $224.3 million. That price tag includes a 15 per cent contingency fee.

Under the proposed 30-year agreement, a private firm would design, build, finance, operate and maintain the plant.

“It’s important to note that in this proposal, the city will always own and control this facility,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said at a news conference Friday.

“We will also protect our employees…they’ll keep their jobs and they’ll receive advanced training to operate this state-of-the-art facility.”

The city would borrow $118 million through the private sector, while the federal government would be asked to contribute $50 million. Another $40 million is earmarked in the city's five-year capital plan.

In 2010, city council approved water and sewer rate increases of nine per cent annually over a three-year period to help fund the upgrades.

A report released in December revealed that the initial $153 million cost estimate for the project had risen to $207 million, plus or minus 15 per cent. The city attributed the increase to inflation in construction costs.

Fougere says the aging plant must be upgraded to meet stringent new provincial and federal regulations. Construction is slated to begin in 2014 and is expected to wrap up by the end of 2016.

If the executive committee votes in favour of the proposed funding model at its meeting next Wednesday, it will be brought to city council for approval on Feb. 25.