Spallumcheen pans process

Township and RDNO differ on request for additional water for development

The Regional District of North Okanagan is standing its ground despite criticism from a member municipality.

Spallumcheen has indicated disappointment that RDNO has linked a request for additional potable water by Great West Equipment to the township contributing millions of dollars to a future reservoir in the area.

“We need to look at equity for industrial lands,” said Juliette Cunningham, Greater Vernon Advisory Committee chairperson.

“There are unserviced lands being purchased (in Spallumcheen) at a lower cost that would not be available in the Greater Vernon utility area. This is a good opportunity for all three parties to invest in infrastructure so Spallumcheen can attract more commercial development.”

Janice Brown, Spallumcheen mayor, says Great West Equipment has already proposed an on-site reservoir for fire flows on L&A Cross Road and a GVAC reservoir is not needed at this time.

“This is not a new connection in a new development. This is one of the original Vernon Irrigation District properties that needs a small amount of additional potable water, which is available according to the Greater Vernon Water engineering department,” said Brown.

“The township is willing to enter into negotiations for a potential future reservoir for fire flows that will benefit the whole area and future development, for both Spallumcheen and Greater Vernon Water but is not willing to enter into an agreement without knowing all of the details, making sure it is a benefit for our residents and knowing all the financial implications.”

Spallumcheen has requested that GVAC increase the maximum flow of water provided to the Great West site by 3.43 litres per second or an equivalent of 4.40 hectares of allocation.

RDNO officials insist there is a need to negotiate current and long-term water needs, particularly given potential development.

“It requires all parties to come to the table. The long-term funding of public infrastructure is important,” said David Sewell, chief administrative officer.