Plans for a referendum and an $8 million infrastructure grant application to expand the water system in Scotch Creek, British Columbia have been abandoned in favour of a new, scaled-back approach.

Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) directors voted to rescind previous motions made at the October 21 Regular Board Meeting regarding the proposed expansion of the Saratoga Water System. This change of plans followed discussions Electoral Area F Director Jay Simpson conducted with residents, and information gathered from recent meetings with community stakeholder groups in Scotch Creek. Following these discussions, it was determined there was not enough community-wide support for the proposed $8.9 million expansion of the Saratoga Water System into the core of Scotch Creek.

CSRD staff then identified an alternative option to acquire, upgrade, and expand the smaller, existing Captains Village Water System. This system would to be expanded to accommodate 73 residential water connections.

As a result of this new information, the Board supported new motions to spend up to $45,000 on an engineering assessment which will consider the development of a new, smaller community water system to benefit the property owners in and around Captains Village Marina only.

Should the process be successful, the new plan envisions a CSRD water system at each end of the community. This would create the potential opportunity to expand the systems towards each other until such time as the two systems could be joined.

Director Simpson noted that the smaller water system would alleviate some of the issues in the area and offers the potential for future growth of the water systems.

“At least this gets us started with an opportunity to build something with a smaller amount of money involved,” Simpson said. “I think it is a great alternative.”

The Board agreed to retain Urban Systems to conduct engineering work on the scaled-back option in preparation of an application for an infrastructure funding grant. Voter assent for the project will take place through a petition process of the residents in the service area.

Urban Systems has started work on developing new drawings and engineering specifications for the system, as well as the cost estimates for the project. This information will be presented to the residents benefitting from the new water system in early 2020.

Proceeding with the project will be dependent on whether the CSRD is the successful in its application for the federal and provincial infrastructure grant funding. Without grant funding, the project will not move forward.

The deadline for the CSRD to apply for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Grant is February 26, 2020.


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