District council is supporting a bylaw amendment to extend the sewer connection deadline for properties on the east side of Sicamous Narrows.
The amendment, which received three readings during council’s Dec. 10 meeting, extends the sewer connection deadline from June 30, 2015 to Nov. 30, 2015.
Community planning officer Mike Marrs explained the bylaw was being recommended by staff as a result of numerous concerns raised by local homeowners and contractors relative to sewer services installation and high groundwater. He said the water table is unusually high for this time of year. Subsequently, many of the attempts being made to install/connect are “having difficulty achieving compliance.”
“The high groundwater table is causing installation and safety issues,” writes Marrs in a report to council. “Attempting to address the water and safety issues is also adding to the property owner’s connection cost.”
Addressing council directly, Marrs said adding to the issue is the number of residences that have not yet been connected – more than 400.
“We don’t have a firm handle on it,” said Marrs. “And so, that number of incomplete connections is quite a burden on the local industry to service and to achieve by June 30. Especially when we’re actually going into high water in a couple of months, which will make the groundwater table that much worse.”
Marrs said the bylaw amendment gives a greater time frame in which to connect and make the process a little bit easier on the pocketbook.
“Trying to achieve 400 services is going to drive the price up if we leave it at the June 30th time frame,” Marrs elaborated. “We’re hoping that, by extending this, we’ll allow greater economic benefit to the community and to those residents who have yet to connect – and hopefully resolve the groundwater situation as well.”
The district’s sewer rates and regulation bylaw requires the owner of every property to connect to sewer where and when that service has been made available.