Township denies water utility request

Spallumcheen council turned down a request from proponents of a 30-lot Chickadee Ridge subdivision

A proposed Spallumcheen subdivision  will have to look after its own water.

Council turned down a request from proponents of a 30-lot Chickadee Ridge subdivision, located near McLeod subdivision, to have the township assume responsibility for a new water utility for the subdivision.

“The request is inconsistent with the township’s current long-term water strategy,” wrote administrator Greg Betts in a report to council on the request. “It would consume organizational capacity and attract liability to the municipality.”

The township, in 2009, approved a zoning bylaw amendment for the development of approximately 30 lots near the existing McLeod subdivision.

Betts’ report said the zoning application indicated that the proponents would build, operate and maintain private water and sewer utilities to facilitate the development.

The proponent is now proposing to construct a water system which would be turned over to the township to operate and maintain, rather than operated as a private utility.

The township recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with the City of Armstrong in regards to a long-term water strategy.

“The intent of the strategy…is to facilitate the phasing out of individual water districts, where practical and feasible, and dissolve and convert them to become part of the City of Armstrong water utility,” wrote Betts, who added the province does not support creating new water districts but is open to the developer to proceed with the establishment of a private water utility under the Water Utility Act.

Council voted unanimously with the staff recommendation to not assume responsibility for a proposed new water district, and to advise the proponent they can establish a private utility to facilitate the subdivision.