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District of Hope council turns to community for opinions on $1.8 million water upgrade bill

Cost of about $60 annually will be downloaded to property owners’ tax bills
Tessa Poole speaks to council about the history of troubles with 753 Waterworks and how it has affected residents in her neighbourhood in July 2019. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard file photo)

The District of Hope is looking to residents’ opinions before deciding to borrow nearly $2 million to fix a long-running issue with a now-defunct private water company.

The former 753 Waterworks utility company has been a problem for decades now, and the current council resolved to solve it a few years ago. More than 150 residents near Kawkawa Lake are connected to the infrastructure of the private water company, which had been seized by the Province of B.C.’s water comptroller.

A plan costing $1.8 million was presented to the public in November 2021, and will finally amalgamate the users of the former water system into the District’s system.

When council made the decision to move forward with the plan, council chambers was packed with residents and those in attendance erupted in cheers.

Some of the upgrades talked about in reports to date include decommissioning four wells (the Skylark and Riverview wells, and Wells 7 and 9), adding new hydrants, a booster station, and multiple tie-ins. The plan also calls to make Upper Thacker Mountain Road a separate pressure zone.

The plan is based upon a study conducted by True Consulting, who presented their findings to council in November 2019.

There was a well failure in 2015 and that’s when the homes on 753 Waterworks were connected to Hope’s main water system. The well failure revealed mismanagement by the private water company. However, 753 Waterworks was still the billing party for those homeowners. Stewardship of the system went to the province in 2017, and the comptroller took over. Some residents had even refused to pay their water bills.

While there has been overwhelming support for the plan to move forward, council also decided to hear further from residents on the matter via an Alternate Approval Process.

The proposed amount of $1.8 million will be applied as a Parcel Tax, to be amortized over 15 years and the effect on those property owners is estimated at $59.07 per year.

Those opposed to the borrowing of the $1.8 may submit and elector response form, which can be downloaded off the District of Hope website or picked up in person from the District office.

The deadline to submit an elector response form is Sept. 28 at 4 p.m.

READ MORE: District of Hope to present $1.8 million water upgrade plans

Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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