Greater Vernon drowns master water plan

On Saturday, 7,918 residents voted against borrowing up to $70 million for upgrades

Greater Vernon officials are uncertain about what will happen now that voters have overwhelmingly shot down the master water plan.

On Saturday, 7,918 residents voted against borrowing up to $70 million for upgrades to the water utility, including filtration. There were 3,999 people in favour.

“There will be work going ahead,” said Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick.

“Staff will meet with the Interior Health Authority on the results and get feedback from them.”

It has been suggested that IHA could slap an order on Greater Vernon to proceed with the master water plan despite the referendum results.

“We will look at the next steps to meet IHA’s requirements,” said Garlick, who believes the referendum was defeated for a number of reasons.

“The overall number ($70 million) was the problem. If we have to meet the requirement, it will be expensive no matter which way we go.”

Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director, is frustrated with the borrowing referendum results.

“It’s unnecessary confusion and delay and an unnecessary amount of money will have to be spent to get the same result,” he said.

During the election, most Vernon and Coldstream candidates stated they would vote against borrowing, including those who had authorized the master water plan and the borrowing bylaw.

“I hold the politicians calling for its demise to account. It (plan) was used for political purposes,” said Macnabb.