The Hagensborg Waterworks District faces significant capital investment in the next few years with its water purification system now nearing the end of a pilot project and an aging pipeline that requires replacement.
The Waterworks District will need an estimated $3.5 million to complete the necessary work but they are blocked from public funding under the existing government policy.
This situation places an additional and unreasonable tax burden on local residents and businesses, many of whom cannot afford an increase to their taxes.
Through our members, the Waterworks District asked for help from the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce.
Our members passed along the request to the Williams Lake and District Chamber. Chamber member Scot Durward who is the Chamber’s policy chair, took the lead on this along with committee and with lots of help from Chamber members around B.C. and the BC Chamber, they created a resolution for the BC Chamber to adopt at their BC Chamber AGM held in Prince George.
The request is for the government to remove all barriers to improvement districts receiving equal and direct access to federal and provincial grant funding — also to enable improvement districts to access capital funding without ownership of their systems shifting to regional districts.
Two-hundred-thirty-four Chamber members from around our province voted unanimously in favour of the Williams Lake Chamber resolution.
Also more than 73 improvement districts from around B.C. supported the Chamber’s resolution.
All B.C. Chamber resolutions that are voted for approval at the AGM are taken to the BC Government and the Federal Government. Many of the Chamber resolutions do get adopted into a policy by the BC Liberal Government.
Nice to know where to get help when you need it.
The Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce will be watching with much interest to see if our friends in Victoria will honour our request to help improvement districts around B.C.
We will be asking MLAs Donna Barnett and Coralee Oakes to help champion our cause in the BC legislature.
Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.