Work at the Merklin Street site. (File photo)

Work at the Merklin Street site. (File photo)

White Rock paying $13.4 million for water utility

Purchase price disclosed two years after acquisition

The City of White Rock has agreed to pay $13.4 million for its water utility.

The price, undetermined for two years, was disclosed in a news release issued at 8:45 a.m. Monday.

The city announced its intention to explore acquiring the water utility in March 2013. The acquisition itself took place in October 2015.

At the time, an advance payment of $14 million was made, and the city said it would negotiate a final purchase price and, subsequently, head to arbitration.

Epcor is to reimburse the city $600,000, Monday’s news release states.

In the release, Baldwin says negotiating the final purchase price “took a lot longer than White Rock council wanted, but we also had the best interest of White Rock taxpayers in mind.”

Documents related to the acquisition and negotiation were withheld until now “because they had the potential to jeopardize the city’s position in the negotiation,” the release states.

It adds that the city had valued the assets at $15 million, and that had that been released, “the White Rock Water customers could have had to pay $1.6 million more than what was negotiated.”

More to come…