Hagensborg Water District committed to holding further public consultation

Your elected Hagensborg Water District Trustees met Monday, November 21st

Your elected Hagensborg Water District Trustees met Monday, November 21st.  In attendance were Trustees J. Baillie, C. Matthews (Chairperson), D. Mikkelson and M. Nelson. Trustee O’Neill was unable to make the regularly scheduled meeting.  Also in attendance were Dianne Tuck, Melany Rambo, June Vosburgh and Ken Dunsworth.

Trustees first presented an update regarding ongoing discussions with DFO representative John Willis regarding collaboration with local DFO. The Department of Oceans and Fisheries is in need of their own intake to provide disease free water to the hatchery. Their installing of an intake would be at their cost and present no cost to ratepayers but add substantial benefits in the area of improved water delivery service and ongoing maintenance.

First, much of the current aging infrastructure would be replaced through monies the DFO has access through the Federal Government.  Some of the infrastructure improvements ratepayers would see would include improved flow, increased safety for volunteers performing maintenance after high water events and should a major flood event occur that damaged any of the infrastructures DFO would have access to monies to see this occur.

The board heard concerns from ratepayers present regarding a recent decision to maintain water delivery rates at the previously approved level. Trustees have discussed options over the past few months and all agree that no one is satisfied paying more or even paying the current rate. We would be remiss in not acknowledging that amongst board members there is some disagreement on how the best way to meet an ever increasing amount of government policy/regulation, to maintain infrastructure and continue to water delivery.

Trustees have presented many ideas and despite varying opinions presented in print by one of the trustees, all opinions have been heard, considered and thoroughly debated.  Costs have been cut.  Maintenance that was once done by contract is now done on a volunteer basis by Trustee Matthews and Mikkelson.  During our most recent heavy rainfall, the well recently installed performed perfectly with none of the usual water turbidity that plagued ratepayers and usually forced a flushing of the lines that further disrupted service.  However, it still did require Trustee Matthews to donate approximately 10 hours of his time digging by hand the silt that had entered the system.

Trustees have examined proposals to cut administrative costs and have moved forward with different rates for different activities performed by the chief financial officer.

One recent decision that was thoroughly debated regarded what percentage of expenses to place upon water delivery vs. fire protection.  In the past, boards maintained a 75 percent water delivery 25 percent fire protection split when it came to shared expenses.  However, through the dedicated work of the CFO the split has been ascertained to be higher in the area of fire protection so the Board did vote in favour of presenting to the provincial finance authority a proposal that would see the split at 50 percent.

This proposal was welcomed and commented upon by Joshua Craig from the BC Municipal Finance Authority as one of the best he has seen and congratulated the Improvement District on planning for the future.

A misconception that unfortunately has grown out of this decision involved a recent opinion piece stating that the HWD made a decision to raise property taxes, however, the HWD does not control the amount rate payers pay for property taxes. It could raise property taxes for some and it could lower property taxes for others. To ignore that fire protection is the greater expense could lead to higher costs in terms of ratepayer house insurance.

Trustees appreciated those present asking thoughtful questions and holding the trustees accountable and allowing trustees to answer questions and encourage further dialogue including notions of working closer with the Central Coast Regional District and a dialogue about the future of the POE system.   Trustees agree that the POE mandate from ratepayers needs to be revisited and have committed to a public consultation discussion in late January or February.

Trustees are also committed to holding further public consultation regarding a closer working relationship with the CCRD prior to the AGM. We want to ensure that the ratepayers have all recent, accurate, unbiased information prior to both consultation discussions so that informed decisions can be made moving forward.

Finally, your trustees welcome any feedback and encourage ratepayers to contact them and engage in dialogue as we continue to move forward.  The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be December 12th at 1:00pm at the Hagensborg Fire Hall.

 

Just Posted

Red Cross Workers to visit Bella Coola January 23 – 25

Red Cross workers will be at the Moose Hall Jan 23-25 to meet one-on-one with individuals

Bella Coola to benefit from massive investment in coastal internet

A combined investment of $45.4 million will bring new and updated high-speed internet on the coast

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

O’Reilly trial scheduled to start January 15 for Anahim Lake murders

O’Reilly is charged with first-degree murder

School District 49 to re-open Nusatsum Elementary in September 2018

SD49 says increasing enrollment is driving its decision to re-open the school

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Most Read