The Cariboo Regional District is penning a letter to the BC Utilities Commission protesting BC Hydro’s (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

The Cariboo Regional District is penning a letter to the BC Utilities Commission protesting BC Hydro’s (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cariboo Regional District opposes increased street lighting rates proposed by BC Hydro

Staff will send a letter to the BC Utilities Commission

The Cariboo Regional District is voicing objection to BC Hydro’s proposal to increase street lighting rates and terminate its private light system.

Area D director Steve Forseth raised the issue during a special meeting Friday, Dec. 11. and the board voted in favour of sending a letter to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) .

“It’s gravely unfortunate that Hydro did not send along an advance notice of the increase prior to applying to BCUC for approval,” Forseth told Black Press Media.

“My own constituents are strongly opposed to the increase to streetlight rates from BC Hydro for their LED street light replacement project and feel that this particular project should be funded under Hydro internal budgets.”

Forseth said the new LED Light program that BC Hydro is putting on is mandated by the federal government to be in place by 2025 as the current lights have PCBs in them and BC Hydro is required to move elsewhere for its lights.

BC Hydro is proposing to the BC Utilities Commission to terminate their Private Light System which impacts 3,500 people in B.C. and a number of those are ranchers and farmers, Forseth noted in a report to the board. He added the BC Cattlemen Association has written to the BCUC objecting to the move citing concerns over security and crime in rural areas.

CRD communications manager Chris Keam said member municipalities and all local governments in B.C. will be cc’ed the CRD’s correspondence with the BCUC.

During its regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 15, Williams Lake city council voted in favour of signing the CRD’s letter advising that the signatories are not in agreement with the local governments absorbing the costs related to disposal and depreciation costs of existing street lights.

Hydro noted anyone wanting to be involved in the proceeding, can register as an intervener or submit a letter of comment to the BCUC by Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Read more: ‘It’s like a miracle’: Bella Coola Valley resident grateful for power after five days in the dark

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