FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2017
Water Rates Adopted
Council adopted bylaws which will lead to Council’s desire for one water system, one water rate and one quality of water for all West Kelowna residents. Users who will benefit from the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant, construction of which is to begin in 2018, will see increased rates to help cover the City’s portion of the $49 million project as well as related capital infrastructure (the City received a $41 million grant from the Government of Canada and the Province of Brtitish Columbia) towards plant construction). Users of the Powers Creek Water Treatment Plant will see increased rates to help pay for capital works to the system to improve upland storage and fire protection.
The bylaws will merge three of its five systems (Lakeview, West Kelowna Estates and Sunnyside) and rename the system to the Rose Valley Water System, while maintaining the Pritchard service area separate. Council also agreed to re-label the Westbank system as the Powers Creek Water System. All systems will be named the West Kelowna Water System once the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant is operational. Rates will change for all customers effective January 2018. Council approved the following elements to the water rate structure:
- Uniform rates will be phased in over the next four years
- Residential, industrial, commercial and institutional customers would be charged both a fixed component (operational + capital + debt) and a variable component (consumption)
- A move to a single definition of "agricultural" (BC Assessment - Class 9) and an agricultural rate structure consisting of both a flat per hectare charge and a consumption charge (both effective January 1, 2020)
- The elimination of five non-conforming commercial/institutional rates from our existing bylaw effective January 1, 2019
- The inclusion of a "capital component" to the City’s "unimproved parcel" water flat fee
- An update to our bulk water rates
The City will undertake a variety of communication efforts to inform the public of the changes to water rates. More information is available at www.westkelownacity.ca/waterrates.
Bylaw Amended to Allow Bitterroot Harvest
Council adopted changes to the Parks and Public Spaces Bylaw and related enforcement bylaws to specifically allow bitterroot harvest in Mt. Boucherie Park. Westbank First Nation indicated that lands within a dedicated parkland area related to the new phase of the Vineyard Estates Neighbourhood have traditionally been where bitterroot has been harvested and Council fully supported allowing this tradition to continue.
Rosealee Lane and Klein Road Drainage Improvements
Council awarded the 2017 Drainage Improvements Project to BC General Contracting Inc. in the amount of $520,676 for drainage work along Rosealee Lane and Klein Road. Both areas are impacted by failing drainage infrastructure during spring runoff. Work is expected to begin this winter.
Upper McDougall Creek Flood Recovery
Council agreed to award the contract for the Upper McDougall Creek Flood Recovery Channel works to the lowest qualified bid, not to exceed $575,000. The project is one of 45 flood recovery projects that have been identified in the community as a result of the 2017 spring flooding. These projects have been prioritised based on the risk to the municipality, complexity, schedule, cost and senior government permitting approvals. The City has received authorisation from the Province of British Columbia to complete remediation along McDougall Creek near the Shannon Lake Bridge and near the City’s Bartley Works Yard. Remediation work will include channel excavation and grading and bank stabilisation. Construction will begin immediately following contract tender and is expected to be complete in January 2018. Council will receive an update on the tendering process at its December 12 meeting.