First step taken towards QC water system referendum

  • Apr. 23, 2008 7:00 p.m.

By Heather Ramsay–Queen Charlotte took the first step towards a referendum on changes to the water system by giving first, second and third reading to a borrowing bylaw. The bylaw authorizes the village to borrow up to $900,000, is the estimated cost of moving the intake from below an old dump site on the Honna River to an area above the potential source of leachate. Adminstrator Andrew Yeates noted that the bylaw must be forwarded to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval and won’t become law until the results of the referendum are known. He is now shooting for a referendum date of June 21 and hopes the results will be wrapped up by July 21, possibly allowing time to do the necessary work in the Honna River during this summer’s fisheries window. Council voted unanimously to pass the bylaw at the April 21 council meeting. The borrowing bylaw says the maximum term for the loan will be 20 years. The referendum will be for those living in the area served by village water. To vote, you need to be 18 years old or over, have lived in BC for six months before the referendum date and in QC for 30 days. Council also discussed a recommendation from chief financial officer Debra Uliana to apply for a grant to help offset the cost, this time under the Province’s Towns for Tomorrow Innovation Fund. Mr. Yeates said staff will apply for the full $900,000, but didn’t have high hopes about the success of the application. Several other bylaws were given three readings April 21, including two which will correct the improperly outlined water and sewer service areas. These now include accompanying maps, said Mr. Yeates. Bylaws to impose frontage tax on owners of land in the water and sewer areas were also read, along with the bylaw to establish the financial plan and the tax rates. The 5-year budget is available at the municipal office and a public meeting will be held May 5, 6:30 pm at the Village office to discuss details.