Water expansion approved

Calling it a good day for water users in the South East portion of Kelowna, Mayor Colin Basran led the council charge in approving Phase 1 of the integrated water plan.

And, in an unusual move, Coun. Luke Stack asked that Basran move the recommended motion to get the ball rolling.

"It would be out of normal, but I thought the mayor should be the one to move this, because it's been something that he's been championing for the last few years," said Stack.

"This will help to bring much needed improvements to some affected areas sooner than originally planned."

Council approved the spending of more than $63 million to integrate the South East Kelowna Irrigation District and South Okanagan Mission Irrigation District to the city's water system.

Nearly $44 million of that came in grants announced in March by both the federal and provincial governments.

The rest will come from SEKID, the city's water utility and reserve accounts.

Special projects manager Ron Westlake says the project will represent about 75 kilometres of pipeline, two pump stations and expanded reservoir reserves.

The city, he says, has also asked for an extension of the project to the end of 2019.

According to the grant application, the project must be complete by March of 2019, but, Westlake says the city's short construction season, March to October, and the fact they won't be able to start until next year, makes the original time line impossible.

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