The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen hosted a budget meeting at the Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Hall Monday evening.
The RDOS proposal involves regional services, rural services and shared services, which would increase the cost to the average property. The RDOS wishes to increase fire training, some equipment purchases, upgrades to the arena, all of which will be funded by reserves.
The RDOS took over management of the Willowbrook water system on July 1, 2017 with concerns of water quality. It claim that the ground water is at risk of pathogen contamination, affecting the water quality in the community. The RDOS wishes to monitor the water quality and advises that to do so requires system upgrades.
The estimated cost of those upgrades per property will increase from $437.50 to $1008.00 per year. The RDOS has the option to apply for grants that are available to offset those costs as well as back up generators required to ensure water availability for residents.
The goal is to meet the Interior Health water quality standards and prevent the Willowbrook community from enduring another long term water advisory notice; as the community water is prone to contamination, therefore the system requires specialized treatment, increasing water costs.
The people attending the meeting were very concerned about the increased costs. * corrected
The attendees also questioned the costs proposed for consultants to investigate the water quality in the community. The regional district advised that they are still in the process of investigating this problem.
Maureen Hayter, the RDOS Finance Manager stated, “The public wants value for their money, and we are trying to rectify that for them”.
Further discussions on these requests awaits.
Source: Ali Lantz – SOSS reporter on assignment