Take on new projects — or upgrade the existing system?
Those are two of the options facing local politicians when it comes to Greater Vernon water spending.
Director Catherine Lord of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee says you can’t ignore the aging infrastructure.
“There is a lot of water breaks happening in Vernon. Those lines in there are so old. Coldstream must be going through the same thing. You look at the old VID lines are being used and they were built in the 60’s,” says Lord.
The committee expects to get a report in June from regional district staff, outlining the state of the current system.
Local politicians are looking for more information as they consider what to do with Greater Vernon’s master water plan.
The plan — which outlines priority projects — hasn’t been updated since 2012, and was the subject of a failed referendum three years ago.
Lord says a lack of funding has led to changes.
“One of the things we’re looking at is proceeding cautiously, but now we’re going to need an update on the plan because some things are out of date such as growth factors,” Lord tells Kiss FM
Director Bob Spiers asked staff to get more accurate population figures, saying the ones used for Vernon in 2012 were overly optimistic.
Director Doug Dirk says they need to ensure there is enough capacity, and things are moving with water projects because he says some members of the public don’t think they have been.
“We need to be actively and aggressively moving along,” said Dirk.
RDNO CAO David Sewell says staff will be bringing updates to the GVAC meeting in June.