Electricity powers council debate

How Coldstream’s town centre will receive electricity is being investigated further.

How Coldstream’s town centre will receive electricity is being investigated further.

A majority of council has agreed to review the feasibility of moving power lines to the north end of properties in the town centre area on Kalamalka Road prior to considering removing the current requirement for underground wiring for developments.

“Some property owners say the requirement for transmission lines underground is cost prohibitive. But before we throw that out, let’s look at our options,” said Coun. Peter McClean.

McClean admits it may not be practical to move overhead lines from along Kalamalka Road to the rear of properties.

“B.C. Hydro will tell us what the cost is and are they willing to do it.”

Opposition to McClean’s motion came from Councillors Pat Cochrane and Richard Enns and Mayor Jim Garlick.

“A move to put power poles behind lots will not go anywhere,” said Enns.

“All we are doing is sitting on this. We’re really not doing a service to the (town centre) goals we identified. We’re just putting up road blocks.”

Staff expressed concern that not making a decision on underground utilities while investigating relocation of power lines to the north could impact a rezoning application currently before council.

“We can communicate that (delay) to them and they can decide if they want to proceed now or wait,” said Trevor Seibel, chief administrative officer.

McClean isn’t convinced a review of power options will hold up the development proposal.

“We can still process the rezoning application. It doesn’t hang up the application,” he said.

“The only trigger (for utilities) is when they spend money on the property.”