No price agreed in sale of water utility to White Rock

Binding arbitration possible if city, Epcor fail to negotiate an amount.

Despite taking ownership and operation of the water utility two weeks ago, the City of White Rock and Epcor have yet to agree upon a purchase price, according to the city manager.

Following weeks of inquiries about the purchase price – unanswered by city officials due to “confidentiality provisions” – Dan Bottrill confirmed Tuesday that the price has yet to be determined.

“We were able to transfer the utility prior to the parties coming to a negotiated price,” Bottrill told Peace Arch News.

“At this point, we still haven’t agreed on a price. If we don’t come to an agreement, the matter can be determined by arbitration.”

Describing the negotiating process as “difficult,” Bottrill explained the city was “motivated to acquire the water utility as soon as it could.”

The transfer of ownership and operation took place on Oct. 30.

Bottrill cited “differences of opinion” on the utility’s value as one reason for the unsuccessful negotiations. When asked if the Epcor land at 1454 Oxford St. – where two highrises have been proposed – played a part in negotiations, Bottrill said the delay “has nothing to do with that, whatsoever.”

City officials had been negotiating with Epcor for two years when council voted in June to expropriate the water utility. Two months later, the city announced a purchase agreement had been reached.

Bottrill described the binding-arbitration process as similar to expropriation, but without court involvement.

There is no deadline in place for negotiations to be completed.

“An arbitrated case will have the opportunity for both sides to present their case for the fair market value of this particular utility, and ultimately an arbitrator will make a determination of what the fair market value is,” Bottrill said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dozens of Canadian venues to light up red in support of entertainment workers

Local facilities among dozens across Canada to participate in Light Up Live

Horgan’s election call ‘nakedly opportunistic,’ political scientist says

Premier says campaign will ‘fully comply’ with public health directions

Canada West Golf Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

UBC, UBC-O, UFV and UVic athletes will not hit the links this year, Kelowna was set to host

Earl Marriott grad adjusting to NCAA life amid COVID-19 restrictions

Jeremiah Mackie joins older brother Jaxon on Gonzaga University cross-country team

COVID-19 exposures at Surrey schools: An updated list

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Most Read