FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2017
West Kelowna Council has determined how it will fund the municipal portion of its biggest capital project ever – the Rose Valley Treatment Plant.
With the announcement March 17, 2017 that the City would receive $41 million in funding from the provincial and federal governments to construct a water treatment plant at the Rose Valley Reservoir, Council was presented options at its meeting Tuesday, March 28 for funding the City’s portion ($12.5 million) of the $53.5 million construction. Council agreed to use internal funds (reserves, Development Cost Charges, Capital Expenditure Charges) and short term borrowing of $1.63 million for its portion of construction costs.
The Rose Valley Reservoir currently serves users of the Lakeview Water System and the $53.5 million project includes construction to interconnect the new plant to the Pritchard, Sunnyside and West Kelowna Estates water systems. Once completed, the project will ensure clean water for 18,000 residents in West Kelowna.
Council also agreed on Tuesday to merge Lakeview, West Kelowna Estates, Pritchard and Sunnyside local service areas into one service area which will see one uniform user rate. Council will be considering water rate adjustments at an upcoming Council meeting.
The majority of funding, $41 million, will come from the Government of Canada (50%) and the Province of British Columbia (33%) via the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. This funding means the much-needed new treatment plant can be constructed immediately instead of in 2022 which is what was forecast in the City’s capital plan. Users of the Lakeview Water System experienced a 14-week water quality advisory in 2016, the first ever advisory for West Kelowna residents, after an unprecedented algae bloom in the reservoir led to increased turbidity.
Construction and commissioning of the new treatment plant will take some time and it is important to note that Lakeview users may be facing water quality issues in the meantime. The City of West Kelowna will issue a request for proposals in the coming days seeking a qualified project management firm to oversee the design-build of the new water treatment plant.