An open house in January on the proposed North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project drew more than 130 people. The process can move forward after the Regional District of North Okanagan’s petition for borrowing its share of the funding passed. (Morning Star - file photo)

North Okanagan wastewater project petition process successful

Regional District of North Okanagan plans for sewer service to Swan Lake Corridor can move ahead

Sewer service for the Swan Lake Corridor took a major step forward as the majority of property owners signed the petition showing their support for the project.

The petition for the Regional District of North Okanagan’s (RDNO) share of funding is one of many required steps to develop the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project, a partnership between the RDNO, Township of Spallumcheen and the Okanagan Indian Band.

The bylaw will now be sent to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval. With this approval, the RDNO will be able to establish a local service area and proceed with borrowing $5.2 million if the federal/provincial grant application for $24.3 million is approved.

RELATED: North Okanagan petition borrowing process approved for wastewater recovery centre

The RDNO petition had to pass two tests to achieve approval from the community: the owners of at least 50 percent of the parcels liable to be charged for the proposed service had to sign the petition, and the signed petitions had to represent at least 50 percent of the net taxable value of all land and improvements within the proposed service area. The petition passed both tests, with 63 per cent of the parcels, and 78 per cent of the value voting in favour.

The RDNO received petitions from around the world as multiple property owners in the service area sent in their support despite being out of the country.

The Swan Lake Corridor has long been identified as a future growth area in the RDNO’s Regional Growth Strategy and Official Community Plans once community sewer became available.

RELATED: North Okanagan project open house draws crowd

“It has taken us years to get to this stage, and the successful petition marks a huge milestone for the project,” said Bob Fleming, RDNO Area B Director. “It confirms that the community supports this project and brings us closer to making the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project a reality.”

In December 2018, a Wastewater Recovery Community Working Group consisting of eight members (residents, business owners, environmentalists, farmers, and sewer and septic industry experts) was formed to provide a community perspective on the project development and implementation; build awareness of the need for providing wastewater recovery, treatment, and reuse; and, identify and assess options for meeting partnership objectives.

“We thank the Community Working Group for their tireless efforts in sharing information with the community and building awareness of the project and the petition,” said Amanda Shatzko, RDNO Area C Director. “They went door to door in the rain and snow on their own time to talk to property owners about the project. Their tenacity and enthusiasm to make our community better environmentally and economically was vital to the success of the petition.”

In addition to the door to door information, an open house was held in January to engage with residents and businesses about the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project and the petition. More than 130 people attended the event.

The North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project will improve Swan Lake water quality, support agriculture, enhance recreation, and enable economic development opportunities for residential and businesses property owners and the partner jurisdictions.

The $36.9 million project would service RDNO Electoral Area B and C residences and businesses in the Swan Lake Corridor, the Township of Spallumcheen’s southeast industrial area, and portions of Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) IR4 by providing wastewater collection and treatment facilities and a distribution network to distribute reclaimed water to area farmers.

The project is contingent on senior government grant funding ($24.3 million). If the grant funding is approved, the remainder of funding for the project will be provided by the RDNO ($5.2 million), an Okanagan Basin Water Board Sewerage Facilities Assistance Grant ($5.9 million), and Township of Spallumcheen reserves ($1.5 million).

The partners have taken many steps to ensure the project is shovel-ready should senior government funding be approved.



roger@vernonmorningstar.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

Federal minister to speak in Vernon

Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes middle class prosperity minister to talk money

Vernon PAC takes stand against dating violence

KSS to host presentation to equip parents with tools to spot unhealthy, violent relationships

VIDEO: Vernon man says stranger breaks in while family slept

Resident shares doorbell cam footage in hopes to ID suspect who raided his home and fridge

Two-car collision in busy Vernon intersection

Firefighters, RCMP and ambulance are on scene

VIDEO: Protesters set up beside Vernon highway

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP responds to countrywide blockades

UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Signs at protest site say in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

B.C. Coroners Service reports on fatal falls in May and July 2019

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless posts to Facebook cause real harm and stress

At the risk of resembling a broken record, it needs to be… Continue reading

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Trans-Canada Highway closed between Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Drive BC reports the closure is the result of a vehicle incident.

Most Read