Sanitary sewer systems are a basic service of most modern North American cities. In the City of West Kelowna, where a shift is happening from the community's rural past, the city is working to address gaps in service and provide modern infrastructure.
The next area under consideration for sanitary sewer service extension is the Shetler/Elliott area, located west of the Smith Creek neighbourhood, east of Glen Canyon and north of Westbank Centre.
The City of West Kelowna is currently designing the project. Prior to any construction however, the city will need to petition home owners in the Shetler/Elliott area to determine if they are willing and able to pay for the costs of extending service to their neighbourhood.
Servicing Strategy and Process
The City of West Kelowna has created a Sanitary Sewer Master Plan to identify the long term maintenance, operational and improvement needs of the existing system. The city has also developed a Sewer Serving Strategy to identify areas to which services need to be extended:
In areas relying on aging septic systems, the City of West Kelowna will design sanitary systems on a priority basis. Prior to any construction however, the city must petition the neighbourhood. If 51% of home owners are in favour of receiving sanitary sewer service extensions, the petition passes and all title holders in the service area will be required to pay for the costs of extending service to the property lines in their neighbourhood. Home owners are then given the option of paying for their share of the costs up front or having the cost of borrowing added to their annual property tax payments over the course of 20 years. Please note, the costs of hooking up to the system, from individual homes to the service at the property line are extra expenses to be borne by the homeowner.
If grant programs are available around the time the project is to proceed, the City of West Kelowna will consider applying for assistance from senior levels of government to lower home owners' costs. In some cases however, this could mean delaying construction until such time as the grant is approved.
Between 2009 and 2013, with funding assistance through the Small Communities Fund, the City of West Kelowna was able to extend sanitary sewer services to more than 1,500 homes in Glenrosa, Lakeview Heights and Westbank Centre:
The City of West Kelowna thanks the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia for providing funding assistance and lowering the costs of individual homeowners living in the service area.