West Kelowna  

Pushing for 2nd power line

Elected officials from West Kelowna are continuing their efforts to lobby BC Hydro for a redundant power supply for the Westside.

Mayor Gord Milsom and members of council sat down with senior officials from BC Hydro Tuesday at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver. Ironically, power went out to more than 3,000 Westside customers after the meeting.

Council has been pressing the province and BC Hydro for more than a decade for a second power source for the area, which stretches as far south as Summerland.

It's the largest area of the province without a redundant power source.

While BC Hydro committed to a second line in 2015, it reversed course earlier this year, saying the project would be delayed while it reviewed options for both resiliency and redundancy.

“BC Hydro assured us today that they are very aware of how important power redundancy is to the 50,000 people on the Westside of Okanagan Lake who rely on this single power line,” said Milsom.

“We have seen time and again that emergencies can arise, and that increased forest fires and flooding threaten our infrastructure. It is vital for West Kelowna to have a redundant power source to ensure the safety of our community and the greater Westside. I believe BC Hydro is strongly committed to advancing this project.”

Milsom said BC Hydro intends to bring proposed options to the BC Utilities Commission early next year, which include recommendations based on the outcome studies currently being conducted.

Later today, West Kelowna delegates will sit down with Health Minister Adrian Dix to push for the need for an urgent and primary care centre in West Kelowna.

Last week, Dix announced such a facility would be built in Kelowna.

The city will also discuss an increase in rural policing levels with Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

The UBCM Convention wraps up Friday with an address from Premier John Horgan.

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