North Okanagan wastewater working group seeks volunteers

North Okanagan wastewater working group seeks volunteers

Deadline for Regional District of North Okanagan group extended to Oct. 26

If you’re interested in the environment, agriculture, recreation, or economic development in the Swan Lake area, the Regional District of North Okanagan’s Wastewater Recovery Community Working Group could be a great volunteer opportunity for you.

To ensure robust and diverse community participation, the volunteer application deadline has been extended to Oct. 26.

“The working group will inform and support the move toward construction of the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project, which would provide sewer to residences and businesses in the Swan Lake corridor, the Township of Spallumcheen’s south-east industrial area, and portions of Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) IR4,” said Leah Mellott, RDNO’s general manager of electoral area administration, in a release.

Approximately five to seven community volunteers will be selected to work with project partners from the RDNO, Township of Spallumcheen, and OKIB. Applicants will be selected to reflect a mix of members from all sectors and service area locations.

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The working group’s first tasks are to help build public awareness about the project and to inform RDNO property owners within the proposed service area about a petition starting this fall.

If the petition succeeds – and if senior government grant funding is awarded – the Working Group will then begin gathering community input on project design, construction, and start-up.

If this opportunity interests you:

1. Visit the webpage at www.rdno.ca (Wastewater Recovery Project) to learn more;

2. Review the Working Group Terms Of Reference on the webpage;

3. Submit the Application Form on the webpage before Oct. 26.

Successful applicants will be announced in November.

The North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project is a unique tri-party partnership involving the RDNO, Township of Spallumcheen, and OKIB. Intended to improve water and soil quality, support agriculture, enhance recreation, and enable suitable economic development, the $36.9-million project would provide wastewater collection and treatment facilities and a distribution network to bring reclaimed water to area farmers.

The 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.

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

The project is contingent on senior government grant funding ($24.3 million) and approval from RDNO property owners within the service area for long-term borrowing ($5.2 million). The remainder of funding for the project would be provided by 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 and RDNO funding be approved. These include signing a detailed Memorandum of Understanding, submitting a grant application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, identifying a potential location, and developing a plan of action for public information and engagement.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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