Cost of water system is a factor, says mayor

  • Oct. 31, 2007 5:00 p.m.

The cost to water users must be taken into account before any decision on moving Queen Charlotte’s water intake from below the landfill to a place above the landfill can be made, said Mayor Carol Kulesha. The estimated $850,000 extra charge for moving the intake would be divided among the 398 water user accounts in Queen Charlotte, she said. Divided equally, that would mean each user would be on the hook for $2,136 in 2008 if the loan was paid off instantly. If the loan was repaid over five years, the cost would be $512 per year. Mayor Kulesha says these are approximate figures, but she wanted to give an indication of how people will be impacted. She said council is concerned about taking on a longer-term debt due to the changing economy. A different number of water users, 571, was mentioned at the Oct. 23 meeting, but Mayor Kulesha says this is the number of water units. Some account holders, such as hotels have more than one unit, but it is the account holders who will have to decide whether they want to take on this debt. Both the public high school and the hospital are on the town water system too. She says a briefing document will be included in the next utility bill, due out this week. The document will also include a notice asking whether the account holder wants to leave the intake where planned or move it and acquire debt. She asks that the public return this with their choice noted. This is not a referendum, but a first indication of the water users thoughts, she says. “We need to see if there is enough support to move to a borrowing bylaw,” she says. The results of the mail out will be brought to council.