North Okanagan neighbours seek renegotiated water supply deal

City of Armstrong notifies Township of Spallumcheen it will terminate six agreements at end of 2019

The City of Armstrong wants to renegotiate bulk water supply agreements with the neighbouring Township of Spallumcheen.

In a hand-delivered letter to township council, the city has given the township one year’s notice it will terminate six water supply deals on Dec. 31, 2019.

“Since the agreements were executed, conditions of the delivery of inter-municipal services such as water have changed,” wrote Armstrong chief administrative officer Kevin Bertles.

“The city wishes to terminate the bulk water supply agreements, in their current form, and is willing to renegotiate the terms of this service.”

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Agreements with Round Prairie, Pleasant Valley, Stardel Waterworks District and Silver Star Waterworks District were signed Nov. 23, 1998. Agreements with Highland Parks Waterworks District and Landsdowne Waterworks District were signed May 24, 2006.

All six will be terminated at the end of 2019 and the city will cease to supply bulk water to the recipients under the agreements.

“We’ve got some outstanding agreements that go back to 1990s, early 2000s, that some have never been signed, some have and are expired, and what we’re looking for is to resolve those situations,” said Bertles. “We’re not cutting off anyone’s water or anything like that.”

In August 2013, the two municipalities entered in a Memorandum of Understanding for the provision of water, an agreement that outlines the principles agreed to by the communities over the provision of water.

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“To advance the principles set out in the Memorandum of Understanding, the city is willing to renegotiate the supply of bulk water to the township and the improvement districts to reflect the current water service circumstances,” said Bertles.

Spallumcheen Mayor Christine Fraser said the township received a heads-up from the city the letter was coming, and it was hand-delivered by Bertles and Mayor Chris Pieper at Spallumcheen’s committee of the whole meeting Monday morning.

“We want to make sure that our residents know our interest is that water is secured for our residents,” said Fraser. “We do have historic water agreements in place that provide water for our residents through Armstrong’s systems.”

The township will send a letter to its residents saying they hope to form a committee with the city in January to look at all of the information and to make sure it’s looking after its residents and water districts.

“We hope we can work this out well with the city so that everybody is happy,” said Fraser.

The two communities will form a task force that will work on inter-municipal agreements specifically for water.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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