Letter from Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA promises to pursue Woodland Drive water funding

Touting the Woodland Drive $3 million sewer and water project is going to be up to city council.

Touting the Woodland Drive $3 million sewer and water project is going to be up to city council.

“The city has done a lot of work in this area and I believe council has done what it said it would do so far, but the time has come to shake the tree,” Coun. Surinderpal Rathor said at the regular council meeting Tuesday.

A letter to mayor and council from Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says she will continue to pursue funding for the project and, if infrastructure funding becomes available, will support an application.

In their discussion, council asked staff for the project’s status.

“Are we doing something or are we just giving lip service to the community?” Rathor asked, adding most of the people he’s talked to have said they would be interested in having water and sewer in the area, as long as they don’t have to pay a large sum of money.

Chief administrative officer Brian Carruthers told council there are no grants available that meet the project description.

“As council’s aware, we applied to the gas tax program last year and the project did not meet the criteria, and that program’s criteria has not changed. Making MLA Barnett aware of this issue was to take it to the next level. Staff have done all they can to identify potential resources,” Carruthers said.

Rathor agreed, saying it’s council’s job to push the project at the upcoming Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention in September.

Coun. Sue Zacharias — after being cautious about the project because it only affects 49 properties — said she’s changed her tune.

“I’m glad staff have been proactive. There’s a lot riding on it. It isn’t just about 49 properties; it’s about future development. The beginning of infrastructure up there would open up another few hundred acres.”

As the economy grows and people move from more populated areas, they look toward areas like Williams Lake where it is a great place to raise a family, she said.

Zacharias is confident staff are ready on a moment’s notice with an application for the project.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. There is an election coming and there have been rumblings of infrastructure grant money becoming available. Who knows?”

Admitting she’s changed her thinking, she said there’s a long-term benefit she didn’t see a few months ago.

“It’s very important and high on our list for lobbying,” she added.

Coun. Geoff Bourdon described it as a political hot potato, saying it will be up to council to take it to government ministers and the premier.

“We won’t be solving it at this table anyways,” Bourdon said. “We have enough background work that if something came up we could move, but I think it’s clear we need to go to UBCM singing its praises,” he said.

Carruthers noted there have been discussions taking place with local governments pushing the federal government for more flexibility when it comes to negotiating access to long-term gas tax funding.

“I was reading through a number of the survey responses and the summaries of the surveys,” Carruthers said. “Consistently municipalities said if the funding is going to be available, let the municipalities determine what the priorities are — don’t go and place priorities on that funding.”

Council voted in favour to receive the letter from Barnett. Mayor Kerry Cook was absent from the discussion, declaring a perceived conflict of interest because she lives on Woodland Drive.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Williams Lake’s YBC Bowlers Remy LeBlanc (back from left), coach Kevin McAlpine, Kara-lynn McAlpine, coach Lindsey Kelley, coach Lisa Mcalpine, Avrel Kidney (middle from left), Weston Kelly, Renee O’Hara, Lily Stewart, Brandon LeBlanc, Serena Kidney (front from left), Elsa Kunka and Colton Lendvoy have managed to carry on through the COVID-19 pandemic while following health guidelines. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Youth bowlers still throwing strikes, despite pandemic

Young bowlers have been able to carry on relatively unaffected due to the nature of the sport

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nations are awaiting word of when they will receive their second dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘We need the second round’: Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse questions vaccine roll-out

It’s been 42 days since Tl’etinqox First Nation members received their first dose of Moderna

A drive-thru restaurant and beer and wine store is being proposed by Broadway Landco Management Ltd. for the former Chemo RV site at 1704 Broadway Ave. South. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Drive-thru restaurant, beer and wine store proposed for Williams Lake

Owners of property at 1704 Broadway Ave. South have applied for a zoning amendment

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read