Hope and District council is nearing the finish line as they prepare to take over 753 Waterworks. (Kim Siever photo/Wikimedia)

Waterworks plan in final steps, says Hope District

Council approves borrowing of $1.8 million, upping water bills almost $50 a year

The District of Hope is closer than it’s ever been to completely taking over a long-troubled private water system.

But the ink still isn’t dry on the deal, and as yet another billing date gets closer, that’s got residents on the water system nervous.

Customers of 753 Waterworks, which is in receivership to the province, have already been getting district water for several years. But the pipes that carry that water belong to 753, along with all its debt and assets. This July, council made the decision to take over 753 Waterworks and bring its customers in line with the rest of Hope. Currently, the 200-plus customers of 753 pay about four times what other homeowners pay for the exact same water.

READ MORE: Hope and District to start negotiating to assume 753 Waterworks

At the council meeting on Dec. 9, staff assured councillors and mayor that a transfer is nearing completion, likely by February 1 if not sooner.

They ratified three resolutions to keep up the momentum, including authorizing the cost of borrowing for the acquisition of 753 Waterworks over the entire tax base of the District of Hope, and authorizing staff to prepare borrowing bylaws for the $1.8 million estimated by True Consulting for upgrades.

But it didn’t happen without plenty of discussion between council and staff.

Councillor Bob Erickson put forward a motion that the transfer be completed by Jan. 1. After much back and forth, that motion was voted down and a new motion by Councillor Scott Medlock was approved, with a date of Feb. 1.

There was also a suggestion that the District borrow more than the $1.8 million with the intention of doing even more upgrades as they arise. But finance director Dale Courtice told council that the funds being borrowed had to be specifically used for the projects requested. That being said, he added, if the project were to come in under budget, any leftover borrowed funds would be moved into reserves for waterworks upgrades in the future.

The borrowing of $1.8 million will add about $49 a year to each water user in the district, including those who are currently under 753 Waterworks, for 25 years.

With 753 Waterworks in receivership, customers are still required to pay the rate set out by company. They are billed quarterly roughly the same amount the District of Hope charges annually. Moreover, while the District’s payments are due in the summer, 753 Waterworks customers are automatically billed on Jan. 1 for the upcoming quarter.

Council and staff discussed at length the best way to deal with billing, and staff noted to the public in the gallery that it would be advised to cancel their credit card payments to 753 Waterworks and await further instruction from the District.

CAO John Fortoloczky said they will be informing customers as soon as possible how the billing will roll out.


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

Slideshow: Hope’s winter weather in photos

Readers submit photos of Hope under a blanket of snow

RCMP looking for tips in rash of crime in Hope

Theives broke into homes and cars in the Kawkawa Lake area

Fraser Cascade superintendent announces retirement

Dr. Karen Nelson has worked for School District 78 for 29 years

FVRD seeking outdoor rec feedback

Open house meetings slated for next week

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Fraser Valley motorist drives up vehicle ramp and onto parked trailer on Chilliwack road

The incident happened after Chilliwack was handed another dump of snow Friday night

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Most Read