The cost of getting water may have become significantly cheaper for residents of the Thomas Brook area near Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
The board of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District approved funding of up to $300,000 to extend the City of Revelstoke’s water and sewer systems to the Thomas Brook at their June 16 meeting. The funds will come from CSRD Area B’s gas tax reserve and from the Revelstoke/Area B Economic Opportunity Fund.
Thomas Brook is located just south of the Revelstoke city limits, adjacent to Revelstoke Mountain Resort. They expressed interest in joining the city in order to gain access to the city’s water, but the $1 million price tag for only 23 properties had officials looking for other funding sources.
“What we’re looking at it is if we do move forward with this, then there would be a delay in the annexation for five years, and so that area would remain in the regional district for five more years before it goes into the city,” said Loni Parker, the director for Area B Rural Revelstoke.
Most of the 23 properties are serviced by an aging water system that draws from Thomas Brook on the lower slopes of the resort, however they were placed on a boil water advisory by Interior Health and have been given until 2018 to resolve the issue. Other properties in the area use private wells.
The property owners formally asked to begin the annexation process late last year. City policy requires properties to join the city in order to access its sewer and water.
Following the annexation request, concerns were raised about the cost of establishing water and sewer services. That led to a request for the CSRD to provide some funding.
The residents still need to undergo a formal referendum and have the province approve the annexation. It would be similar to what happened with the Big Eddy, with the added complexity of annexation.
Parker said the CSRD does have concerns about giving $300,000 to people looking to join the city.
“That has prompted us to go outside the box and think how we can help out,” she said.