News

White Rock eyes vote over water plan

Epcor
Epcor's Merklin Street pump station.
— image credit: File

If the City of White Rock decides to go ahead with the purchase of its water utility, White Rock residents will likely have the final say.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin said last week the anticipated cost of the purchase from water-provider Epcor is expected to trigger a referendum.

“Probably be a bigger chunk of change than we can borrow without going to referendum,” he told Peace Arch News Wednesday. “The advice I have is it will probably exceed our borrowing capacity.”

City council decided last year to explore the case for purchasing its water utility. The move was announced in the midst of Epcor’s application to B.C.’s deputy comptroller of water rights for approval to carry out $11-12 million in upgrades to the city’s water system.

At last week’s council meeting – the same night the city’s 2014 property tax rate was adopted – resident Ken Jones asked how much of the city’s budget had been allocated to expenses related to the water purchase.

“Nothing, because it’s not going to happen this year,” Baldwin said.

He explained to PAN Wednesday that he “just couldn’t see us getting it through before Dec. 31 of this year, given all the bureaucracy we’ve got to go through.”

Financial services director Sandra Kurylo said $40,000-50,000 was approved to conduct a valuation of the water system; a process she said is still underway by KPMG. She said any further funds required would have to come from the city’s contingency budget.

Baldwin said if a referendum is called, it wouldn’t happen until mid-November.

Depending on the outcome, the city could be making the purchase “early in the year,” he said.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

VIDEO: Witnesses describe scene at Parliament Hill; Raw footage of Ottawa shootings
 
Standing tall
 
Flower power in White Rock
Peninsula patients have plenty to run for
 
Fire & Ice make for perfect duo
 
Lockdown at research station in Agassiz following Ottawa shooting
Starlight Gala raises $529,000 for Richmond Hospital
 
Windows of Hope returns
 
Seating switch irks wrestlers

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 21 edition online now. Browse the archives.