September 19, 2016 - 4:35 PM
SMALL UTILITY OWNERS FALLING BEHIND IN REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE
KELOWNA - A small water utility near Cedar Creek in Kelowna is throwing in the towel and asking to join the city water utility.
Citing the cost and complexity of a user-owned water system, the Cedar Creek Water Users Community has approached the city, asking that it take over operations.
With just six connections, the owners have learned it would be cheaper to join the city system than soldier on independently, a report by utilities manager Andrew Weeder says.
“The system has become unreliable for its customers, as there is no clear structure or management… repairs to the ssytem are required more frequently and the residents don’t have the necessary means or expertise to manage it,” he adds.
While the budget for the 150 milimetre connection to the city system is $48,000, Weeder predicts the benefits will include improved fire protection as well as a more reliable water service.
While the city is proposing to pay the upfront costs, the property owners will each be required to repay $8,500 over 20 years.
Kelowna has 27 small water systems, independent of either the city water utility or one of the four irrigation districts.
The irrigation districts and the city are currently in mediation over the eventual amalgamation of their systems under city management.
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