Sandspit water-quality committee in the works

  • Apr. 6, 2015 8:00 p.m.

By Shaun ThomasPrince RupertThe Skeena-Queen Charlotee Regional District will have a better handle on the future and timeline for the Sandspit Water Study in the coming weeks.”We contacted the province in mid-December to get an extension for the grant for the water system study because there were new members on the board and new members on the committee. We have heard back from them and we should hear back by the end of March to see if that extension would be granted,” explained CAO Karen Mellor during the March 20 meeting in Prince Rupert.Chair Barry Pages said the timeline for the study won’t be known until after the board finds out whether the grant extension has been approved or not. The delays in getting work on the study going prompted Sandspit director Bill Beldessi to speak about the need to prepare despite a previous board motion to wait.”There was a motion made by the board and it was very specific that a water committee be struck after the study was complete, but we haven’t even started the work to do that … the management committee has decided to hold a meeting on March 30 to invite interested people to come and talk about the water system,” he said, adding it is important to get a water committee going as quickly as possible.”I’m not sure it’s important who strikes the committee as long as the community committee can start to wrap their minds around all the options … I think we need to get that committee happening so the conversations happen sooner than later.”While those in the community begin to prepare to look at options to improve the water quality in Sandspit, Mellor said staff is working to ensure the system can continue to operate regardless of who is or isn’t available to maintain it.”We’re looking at having an procedures manual prepared because as it stands there is nothing and in the event that the operator wasn’t available, we would be hard-pressed to find somebody to keep it going,” she said.”The other suggestion that we had was to contact the CAO of Queen Charlotte to see if their water system operator would be able to come over and act as a backup. We recognize the systems aren’t identical, but there may be some benefit for both operators to know the other system in case they are needed.”

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