The bylaw states a commercial building is entitled to 1 water service line from the city, and because the community garden moved to the same lot as the Catholic Church, this commitment has already been filled.
“The issue that we have right now is that we do have a water use bylaw, so this request contravenes that, simply because of the property that you’re on,” Mayor Lori Ackerman said in a solemn tone. “…It’s not that we don’t want to work with you, it’s that we can’t right now”
Executing Director of the North Peace Justice Society, Michelle LaBoucane says when they moved from their previous location of 9403 – 102 Avenue in 2010, they were under the impression the line would not be an issue.
“When we were moved over after the purchase of the land, it was under the assumption that the water line would be moved as well,” Labourcane explained.” “Even if the developer engaged in the water line, we just now found out that we’re on the same lot as the church.”
Currently, the water is serviced through a tanker provided by Troyer Ventures Ltd, but when they get busy is the summer, the society doesn’t have the same access to the service.
The tanker can hold 2,000 gallons, but only a little over half is filled by Troyer, lasting approximately a week.
The society is also working towards the use of rain barrels to fill the watering need for the time being, but this is said to provide only limited success, as the garden is often used by seniors and people with disabilities, making the process of hauling the water quite difficult.
The society will be back in council chambers at a later date to discuss alternative methods in which the city can support the maintenance of the community garden.
“I’m certain that if there’s a way that we can find other appropriate ways to get water to you, we would entertain those,” Mayor Ackerman said.