UPDATED: Council supports Big Eddy Waterworks recommendations

Revelstoke council agreed to move forward on a grant application to upgrade the Big Eddy Waterworks.

Revelstoke council agreed to move forward on a grant application to upgrade the Big Eddy Waterworks.

“The city only has one opportunity to put in an application in and we feel the Big Eddy water is extremely important and it has to be done properly,” said Mayor Mark McKee during Tuesday’s council meeting.

Council reviewed a report on the water system by the engineering firm MMM Group. The report recommends the city take control of the Big Eddy water system and sets out a 20-year, $5.7 million plan for upgrading the system.

Council supported a staff recommendation that would see the city take over ownership of the system, apply for grant funding to conduct the necessary upgrades, charge any outstanding costs to Big Eddy water users, and to meet and seek approval from residents for the project.

Big Eddy property owners would be charged an extra fee for any costs for upgrading the water system that aren’t covered by grant funding.

Mike Thomas, the city’s director of engineering, boiled down the recommendations to four categories:

1. Upgrading supply capacity and security by building a dedicated feed to the reservoir, construction a third well and upgrading existing wells and pumps.

2. Increasing storage capacity by constructing a second reservoir. This is the most costly item at $2 million

3. Upgrading the distribution system by replacing aging water mains over time, particularly to the industrial areas, where fire flow issues exist.

4. Improving monitoring and communication by installing a SCADA system that would work with the city’s system.

“On top of these major capital upgrades, we’ve also looked at asset management for the Big Eddy water utility as a whole,” Thomas told council.

The deadline to apply for the Small Communities Fund is February 18. Thomas said he expects it to take at least six months for senior levels of government to make decisions on which projects get funding. Once a funding decision is made, meetings will be held with Big Eddy residents.

“From our perspective, moving forward on this without knowing whether we’ve got the grant is the difference between a resident paying $927 in the first year or $309 in the first year,” he said. “We’d like to get some assurance whether we get that grant funding whether we ask the residents to approve the charge.”

He noted other funding sources could be sought over the lifespan of the project to help ease the burden on residents.

The staff recommendation received unanimous support. “I think by moving forward and getting this in by deadline we’re showing it’s a priority,” said councillor Aaron Orlando, who commended staff for its work.

McKee noted the public would have to be involved in the process. “With the tight times frames, we want to put the application in knowing that the rest of the process will fall into place and nothing happens until we feel we have elector approval,” he said.

Don Hall, the chair of the Big Eddy Waterworks, said he disagreed with some aspects of the report, but “as long as they can get their funding, I’ve got no problems with it.”

He said he felt a dedicated pipe from the wells to the reservoir should be a priority, not a second reservoir.

“My big concern is what are the residents paying for? Something that’s not required to the year 2035, or something that’s required over the next few years?”

Hall said the water board will meet with the city, then with residents. The board’s AGM is in April.

“I’m glad something is in the works. Even if it’s overkill, at least it’s being looked after,” he said. “It takes a big weight off my shoulder because I was wondering how I was going to accomplish all this.”

The MMM Group report can be read below.

Big Eddy Waterworks Report by AlexCooperRTR

Just Posted

Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence nominees announced

The nominees for the annual Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards… Continue reading

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Revelstoke City Council makes moves to protect the look of the downtown core

Revelstoke City Council has issued a development permit for a three story… Continue reading

Revelstoke women’s hockey hosts third annual tournament

The Revelstoke Kodiaks women’s hockey team hosted a tournament last weekend. Dawson… Continue reading

Revelstoke Grizzlies 8-0, playing at home on Saturday

The Grizzlies are 8-0 so far in the regular season after another… Continue reading

Sunny skies for the week ahead

Environment Canada is forecasting clear skies for the Okanagan and Shuswap

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Experts gather to discuss Okanagan water needs

Kelowna environmental water flows conference Oct. 17-18 has global reach

South Okanagan man alleged to have exposed genitals to children

Penticton RCMP said incident occurred at the Kiwanis Park

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read