Number of Greater Vernon Water customers swells

More residents are hooking on to Greater Vernon’s water utility

More residents are hooking on to Greater Vernon’s water utility.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has received provincial government approval to take over the private Claremont utility in the Longacre Drive area of Vernon.

“Hopefully we can connect them early in the spring,” said Zee Marcolin, Greater Vernon Water manager.

There are about 96 customers on the Claremont utility and they will be responsible for funding upgrades to the system.

Private hydrants reviewed

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee is reviewing policies regarding private fire hydrants.

There have been concerns that fees charged to owners of private hydrants are higher than those paid by local government.

“We will have a discussion about the rates so they are fair and reasonable,” said Juliette Cunningham, GVAC chairperson.

Barb Mitchell, owner of Highlands Golf Course, was required to install a hydrant on her property when the clubhouse was constructed.

The fee for operating the hydrant has gone from $475 in 2013 to $560 this year, while Mitchell, says Greater Vernon Water charges $133 annually for public hydrants.

“They (private hydrants) are an integral part of community safety infrastructure,” she said.

“There is a lack of fairness in the tax rates.”