The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is looking for public support for an expansion of Scotch Creek’s Saratoga Water System.
At a regular meeting on Thursday, Oct. October 17, the CSRD board approved spending up to $100,000 to conduct a referendum to determine community support for the project. The referendum also aims to help voters understand what the expansion will entail.
This is not the first time the CSRD has looked at improving Scotch Creek’s water systems. In August, the CSRD applied for funds for the same project but was denied by a Federal and Provincial Infrastructure program. A new round of investing was announced in September with the deadline February 26, 2020.
Approximately 73 per cent of costs could be covered through a successful application to this program. The remaining project costs will need to be borrowed and without grant funds, the CSRD would not be able to proceed with the project.
Based on the 2018 Water Master Plan, the anticipated cost for Phase 1 of the project is estimated at approximately $8.9 million.
Electoral Area F Director Jay Simpson noted that accessing grant funds for this water system project is a crucial issue, not only for Scotch Creek, but for the entire North Shuswap.
“We have five Boil Water Advisories in place right now in the community of Scotch Creek,” said Simpson. “This is critical to get in place in terms of public safety and for the continued growth of the community.”
Scotch Creek has been struggling with water servicing issues for decades. Although a small geographic area, there are currently 21 private water systems, most of which are struggling to meet current drinking water regulations.
A referendum date is still to be determined but the vote will be planned for January or early February, 2020.