Mayor Gary Sulz brought back the previously defeated Williamson Lake contract for council to vote on a second time.
The contract was originally presented to council on Nov. 6 and voted down, however as mayor, Sulz has the right, under Section 131 of the Community Charter, to have the council reconsider and vote again on a matter that was the subject of a previous vote.
“We need to get this agreement in place,” he said.
The motion passed unanimously, however Councillor Steven Cross said he was disappointed that they couldn’t take a business case look at the city taking over that contract.
“I believe our taxpayer is probably out $150-200,000 if we ran this ourselves,” he said.
Councillor Rob Elliott also shared thoughts about the future of Williamson Lake, including his dislike of the mini-golf course and his hopes that the scope of the park could be brought back towards public use instead of focusing on the private camping.
“I think we can look at these things as we go forward,” said Sulz. “But in the meantime we have to have an operator for that campground and I feel this is the best-case scenario at this point in time.”
Cedar & Spruce consulting were awarded the contract. They were chosen through the request for proposal process.
The contract stipulates a revenue sharing arrangement in which the city receives 15 per cent of the gross revenue, excluding tax, for the initial three year contract and 16 per cent if the contract is renewed for the additional two years.
In 2017, the city received almost $29,000 from the agreement.
While the city maintains the exterior of the buildings and tree maintenance, the day to day maintenance and the operation of the campground is the caretaker’s responsibility.
The city owns the signage and the buildings, but the caretaker provides the capital infrastructure which at the moment includes the mini-golf, the fire pits, the picnic tables as well as the reception area and the office building, all of which will be removed during the change of caretakers.
Big Eddy Water Parcel Tax
City council approved the Big Eddy Water Local Area Service Parcel Tax Bylaw.
The bylaw sets the tax rate that Big Eddy property owners will pay to recoup the city’s cost of providing water services to the Big Eddy area–$1.9 million.
The money collected will be used to cover a portion of the cost of the project, said Mike Thomas, director of engineering for the city. By setting the parcel tax before the project is complete, the city is limiting the project expenses–they will prioritize works in order to not go over the budget.
The city also received $3.7 million in infrastructure grants for the project.
Property owners had two options, they could either pay a lump sum up front or the parcel tax will be added to the property tax notice each year for 20 years.
The Big Eddy Local Area Service Bylaw was adopted by the city in April 2016 to establish water services to the Big Eddy area after 65 per cent of parcel owners in the area signed a petition.
Thomas Brook Parcel Tax
City council approved the Thomas Brook Water and Sewer Local Area Service Parcel Tax Bylaw as well.
Similarly to the Big Eddy Water Parcel Tax, residents in Thomas Brook will pay in order for the city to recoup the cost of connecting them to the city’s water and sewer services. The city borrowed $708,000 for the project and the CSRD contributed $300,000.
They could either pay a lump sum up front or have an annual charge added to their property taxes to be paid each year for 30 years.
The Local Area Project was brought to city council in June 2017 when 82 per cent of landowners in the area signed a petition.
The project will see water and sewer extended to 22 properties that were annexed from the CSRD in 2017 in order to receive these services.
The residents were ordered by Interior Health to come up with a new water source after issues were found with their old water source.