Water sought for new office

Great West Equipment wants to construct a new office and shop facility on L&A Cross Road.

The taps could flow for a development in Spallumcheen.

On Monday, council voted to ask the Greater Vernon Water Utility to expand the water allocation for the Stepping Stones area so Great West Equipment can construct a new office and shop facility on L&A Cross Road.

“This kind of development is consistent with the township,” said Corey Paiement, the township’s chief administrative officer.

Currently, GVW provides water to the Stepping Stones area under agreement and any additional water requires an amendment to the contract.

Great West Equipment requires potable water for the administration office and it’s requesting that the water allocation to the property be increased from 0.32 litres per second to 3.75 litres per second.

“The request for additional water doesn’t take away from existing allocations in Stepping Stones,” said Paiement.

“This is GVW providing additional water.”

However, the increased water allocation for Great West Equipment could ultimately reduce the total water available for other future land uses in the Stepping Stones area.

Despite that possibility, Paiement recommended that council approve an expanded water allocation.

“The proposed development supports the township’s goal to increase development in the south Spallumcheen industrial and commercial area to diversify the township’s tax base,” he said in a report.

Great West Equipment presently has staff at three different sites in Vernon.

“Three locations in Vernon are unsustainable. This (Spallumcheen project) consolidates everyone,” said Rob Rintoul, Great West’s chief financial officer.

The company has about 65 staff, including 40 in the office, and the new office could hold 90 people.

The request for additional water allocation must still be approved by Greater Vernon Water and the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Great West Equipment will be before Spallumcheen council Sept. 8 for a development permit.