“It’s going to be an opportunity to provide the folks out there with some information on a regional district endeavour to provide certainty to water and sewer services for the rural people,” Deputy CAO for the PRRD, Shannon Anderson said. “We’re basically going to speak to a model and how we think we can move forward in securing access to sewer receiving facilities and also potable water distribution facilities.”
Andersons adds, “We got about five springs in wells we’d like to make potable treated facilities, and also to establish… potable water tank loaders in key areas to provide service in the more further outreaches of the regional district as well.”
The district’s endeavour comes after the City of Fort St. John released a notice approximately a year ago informing rural residents that they plan to shut down their public sewer receiving facility. Now the PRRD would like to explore partnership options with other municipalities.
“We’re looking to develop partnerships with municipalities in terms of aiding capital [costs]; the regional district basically providing some capital to upgrade their receiving facilities in exchange for a long-term service agreement that says that will provide the service to rural folks,” Anderson goes on to explain. “We currently don’t have any agreements at all in place.”
The purpose of tonight’s meeting is to gage public approval for both the proposed sewer and water facilities, both of which stand alone, before receiving provincial approval.
“You can be in favour of one but not in favour of another,” Anderson said. “If we get approval, we’ll be looking to borrow the required funds that are going to be required to do all of these upgrades, which will be basically a taxation amount.”
Essentially, if rural residents approve the district’s initiative, it will be somewhat paid for out of their pocket.
“It’s up to the people to decide whether they want these services or not and we’re just simply there to provide messaging that will hopefully help them with that decision.”
The public information meeting is being held tonight, November 3rd, inside the Charlie Lake Hall and will commence at 7:00 p.m.