City crafting utility acquisition policy

City staff is working on a utility acquisition policy – a pre-emptive move in case it does wind up taking over the Big Eddy Waterworks.

City staff is working on a utility acquisition policy – a pre-emptive move in case it does wind up taking over the Big Eddy Waterworks.

Councillor Linda Nixon made the motion to have staff craft the policy at a special council meeting last Tuesday, Sept. 16. It was supported unanimously by the rest of council.

The policy would set the conditions and processes should a transfer take place, such as what level of user support would be needed and how the city would assume control.

“These policies are common in areas where these utility acquisitions are happening over time. The regional districts, just about all of them have a comprehensive utility acquisition policy,” said Mike Thomas, the city’s director of engineering. “We’re in the situation where we only have one that’s likely to happen but it’s worth having a policy that would cover that eventuality if it came to that conclusion and the Big Eddy asked us to acquire that utility.”

Mayor David Raven noted the Columbia Shuswap Regional District has such a policy and it has provided guidance for several acquisitions that have taken place recently.

“There are some legal proceedings with respect to takeovers and transfers and other things that can pre-determined and predicted in a policy that makes it an awful lot easier going ahead.”