Water, sewer, fire service on agenda

Pritchard sewage system is on priority list for upgrade.

Pritchard sewage system is on priority list for upgrade.

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District board will hold its first regular meeting of the year Friday, Jan. 16 and the agenda is a busy one.

Items of interest include several committee appointments and a proposal to strengthen the unsightly premises bylaw. Of particular interest to Area P residents are items involving the new Paul Lake fire service and proposed improvements to the Black Pines water system and Pritchard sewage system.

Paul Lake residents approved a plan last summer to borrow $260,000 for construction of a fire hall. A fire service area was established and a loan authorization bylaw approved.

The loan authorization bylaw then went to Victoria for approval by the Inspector of Municipalities.

The next step is for the board to adopt a fire protection security issuing bylaw, which will allow the borrowing for construction of the fire hall. The Paul Lake community hopes to put the project out for bids, start building in spring and be ready to move in by the end of the year, so this is good news.

The Black Pines and Pritchard projects require applications to the New Building Canada Fund — Small Communities Fund by a Feb. 18 deadline.

The Black Pines and Pritchard projects are the first and second priorities for TNRD applications; a new reservoir for the Savona community water system and a closure project at the Blue River landfill are also on the list.

The water intake at Black Pines is the subject of a formal petition process that will be completed Jan. 26, so the infrastructure funding application depends on whether or not residents approve it. Estimated cost is $1.345 million, $460,000 of which would be borrowed for the local portion.

Staff are recommending that a solids management system be installed at the wastewater plant in Pritchard. “Currently, removal of solids is labour intensive and costly,” says a staff report. “An automated system is desired to improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs.”

Various options range between $450,000 and $650,000. “It is anticipated the public one-third will be funded by reserves and surplus.”

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