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Castlegar Water Management Plan

In light of the recent decision of Castlegar Council to keep utility rates static for 2011, I’ve posted below copies of the Water Management Plan reports that were completed in March and June of 2009. These reports outline a planned $66 Million cost over 20 years on water infrastructure. As far as I know, there are no similar reports for Sewer, Stormwater, and Road Infrastructure and City owned property and facilities.

During the Recreation Complex discussions, it seems as if I were the only person talking about the future costs we could face. Like deciding to go and purchase ice cream when you aren’t sure that you have enough money for the week’s groceries. These reports were difficult to find on the City Website, so I thought I’d duplicate them here. View them below, or download them here: Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

One thought on “Castlegar Water Management Plan

  1. Yo, Mike, you are right on top of the issues again.

    ‘Proposed Utility Hike Sees Rare Division in City Council’ – The Castlegar Source

    Isn’t this interesting Reporting.?

    http://castlegarsource.com/news/politics/proposed-utility-hike-sees-rare-division-city-council-8327

    Castlegar City Council inches forward towards a real democratic discussion and debate around Water Rates.

    How timely! and, What a surprise!

    The same Public that just turned down a ‘discretionary’ $25 Million over 25 years’ proposal, now discover that they are ‘on the hook’ for an ‘obligatory’ 66 Million dollars over 20 years— for the Water Utility alone.

    Let’s hear it for ‘transparency’ in local government!

    Sad but true … the issue — Financing Utility Upgrades — has been ‘lurking’ around the backrooms of City Hall for years.

    Mike is correct that during the Rec Complex debate, he was the only analyst raising the Red Flag.

    In fact, it is a bit of a stretch to classify the Water story as ‘news’.

    The need for upgrades has been on the table for more than three years.

    It was voices in the Public Gallery that had repeatedly pushed for a properly costed multi-year water strategy, and it was City Hall that dragged its heels, and City Council that ‘missed the boat’ completely.

    The figure of 66 Million Dollar (just for the water upgrades) was documented long before someone came up with the ‘bright idea’ of $25 Million over 25 years for the Rec Complex,. and has been bearing down on the City like a slow moving freight train, for years..

    Unfortunately, the water upgrades (plus the other utility requiremnets) are quickly becoming a ‘Runaway Express’ heading, not for a new ‘Rec’ …but just a ‘Wreck’.

    Given the realities of the Public’s response to the recent Rec Centre Referendum, City Council is now faced with a REAL PUZZLE.

    With the Mayor, Councillors Duff and Turner, accepting the costing reality, and voting in favour of an incremental Utility Tax Increase; and Councillors, McIntosh, Hearne and Chernoff, accepting political/taxation reality ( in the wake of the Rec Complex vote), and voting against the increase.

    Even a debate that is ‘inconclusive’ is superior to a “lock-step” “rubber stamp” that turned out to be absolutely and definitively wrong.

    Council has painted itself into a ‘no win’ corner – although, by one count, a Councillor was ‘missing’ from the discussion — would a full house have changed the vote?

    Raymond Koehler

    619 – 9th Avenue,
    Castlegar, BC V1N 1M5

    250.304.2157

    raymond@raymondkoehler.ca

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