Township taps into water reserve with tax

A need for the Township of Spallumcheen to find a future water source of its own will get financial help.

Council voted unanimously on a finance committee recommendation to contribute $15,000 annually, starting in 2011, to a reserve that would be established for the implementation of a Spallumcheen water supply strategy.

The source of the funds would be taxation.

“The motion was made independent of the official community plan survey which said we should be on top of water, water is our No. 1 priority,” said Coun. Janice Brown. “It’s not a lot of money but it’s a start.”

A contentious part of the recommendation included a line about the township recovering contributions to the fund from benefitting properties at the time of implementation.

“The discussion centred around figuring out what’s there (as far as water),” said Coun. Todd York. “There was talk about monitoring wells, figuring out boundaries of aquifers and the true volume of water. There will be ample opportunity to figure out the strategy and implementation later on.”

Coun. Ralph Leyenhorst said it wouldn’t be fair that some residents get benefits on the backs of others who have built their supplies through taxation.

Coun. Dave Brew said the strategy is something that should have been implemented five or six years ago.

“Developing our own water system is something we have to look into,” said Brew. “I’d like to see the financial amount possibly tripled.”

Council unanimously voted to remove the contentious line from the motion.

A bylaw will be drafted for the new reserve fund.