Some facts, a proposal, concerns of residents and a matter of getting all the ducks in order.
Scott Linttell (Arbor Crest Development) wants the Town of Oliver to supply potable water to a 32 lot subdivision in the Regional District but not inside the boundaries of the former SOLID water district.
The subdivision is 39 acres off Wilson Mountain Rd to the north and west of Oliver. Each lot would be 1 acre or more. The developer wants to utilize an old water storage unit owned by the Town to guarantee 50 gpm to the site.
The proposal requires the approval of the Regional District which could or would operate the water system.
Linttell told a meeting of Oliver Town Council today that nearby residents would not be required to join the system. Originally they had been asked to consent to paying about $12, 500 each to join the community water system but some have balked. Linttel said the property had been zoned for development for 20 years but any go ahead was dependent on the supply of potable water.
Janie Hood – wished Mr. Linttell well with his proposal but was not interested in connecting
Doug Allen – said he had good water and pressure and did not want to be obligated to join a community system.
All present owners in the area have their own wells and utilize inexpensive Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems for drinking and cooking water.
John Herbert – said all residents have poor water quality (uranium content) and all present solutions are band-aides until potable/domestic water is
supplied by a utility like the Town of Oliver. Herbert stated the water is 40 to 120 times above the allowable limit of uranium content.
Mayor Ron Hovanes said the area could be used for housing as it is zoned for that but not in a primary area with the Regional Growth Strategy Plan. Hovanes also said that the Town has dealt with the issue once before and said no. The Town is concerned with low pressure and the possibilities of liability by being the supplier.
Councillor Dave Mattes says 50 gpm is not a lot of water. Linttell says a second and new reservoir would be needed above the subdivision to supply fire flow for hydrants.
Water Councillor Andre Miller did not indicate support for the proposal and said if this goes ahead it would be done on the basis of the developer owning the system. Councillor Mattes said if the RDOS is to run the system then maybe the proposal should be made by it once directors have determined they want to support the concept.
Other councilors expressed some support but also concern to the costs involved and who pays. The system is expected to cost at least a half million dollars.
Mayor Hovanes stated there would be no clear answers today – this was an initial stab at it. It is expected the Town will do a comprehensive report on water supply and the use of its former infrastructure. A fair amount of discussion would have to take place at the Regional Board.