Yay or nay for water project

Residents in areas B and C of the regional district will decide if officials borrow millions of dollars for a water project.

Property owners within the proposed North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project service area will be receiving petition packages in the mail this week to decide whether to borrow the funds needed to support their $5.2-million (14 per cent) share of construction costs totalling $36.9 million.

The project would provide residences and businesses with a safe and sustainable sewer system and treatment facility to protect Swan Lake water quality, provide reclaimed water for agriculture, enhance recreational opportunities, and support economic development for serviced portions of Areas B and C, the Township of Spallumcheen’s south-east industrial area, and Okanagan Indian Band lands within the proposed service area.

An open house is scheduled for Jan. 22 from 4-8 p.m.

Property owners are encouraged to bring their petitions with any questions they might have.

According to a press release the project will proceed only with senior government grant funding that could cover more than 80 per cent of the $36.9 million project.

This includes federal and provincial grants of $24.3 million, an Okanagan Basin Water Board Sewerage Facilities Assistance Grant of $5.9 million, and $1.5 million from Township of Spallumcheen reserves, in addition to approval from Area B and C property owners for their share equal to $5.2 million.

Property owners who support the borrowing must sign their petitions and return them to the RDNO by March 15. Property owners who oppose borrowing should return the petition unsigned. Petitions, both signed and unsigned can also be dropped off at the open house on Jan. 22.

“Between the availability of federal grants and our partnership with Spallumcheen and the OKIB, the timing is perfect,” says Area B director Bob Fleming. “It’s a remarkable opportunity to bring wastewater treatment to the Swan Lake Corridor, with Area B and C residents paying only 14 percent of the total cost.”

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