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Director advocates water projects

Funding priority skewed for resource recovery centre

Texada Island’s regional district director disagrees with the board’s priorities for funding application.

At a recent Powell River Regional District board meeting, Sandy McCormick, Electoral Area D director, said she was opposed to the project priority list presented from the committee of the whole because she believes the ranking of the six projects considered for funding is skewed.

These included: Gillies Bay Improvement District—storage tank upgrade; Lund sewer system—sewer system upgrades; Pine Tree Place Improvement District water system upgrades; resource recovery centre at the Marine Avenue transfer site; Shelter Point water system—development of a water system; Van Anda Improvement District—water system upgrade. The regional district’s project funding ranking was for the resource recovery centre as the first priority and the Lund sewer system upgrade project as second.

“The ranking talks about the risks to the regional district but it doesn’t talk about the risks to the public,” McCormick said.

She added that she fails to see how not proceeding with the recycling facility poses more risk to the public than having clean, safe drinking water.

McCormick said four of the applications on that list were from projects that were looking for infrastructure upgrades so they could meet Health Canada standards for clean, safe drinking water. She said the critical component is that the people being served by these systems are in dire need of help.

“We are pretty much the only resource they have in that they don’t qualify for other funding,” she said. “I think it’s the wrong choice. I think it sends the wrong message that we don’t care about our future.”

McCormick said she didn’t understand why the regional board would support recycling over drinking water. She said she believes that higher credence needs to be given to people who ask for drinking water over other infrastructure, and the regional district is the only place where the applicants can turn.

“I hope that if this recommendation is approved, in the future, this board will give far more serious consideration than it has in past,” she said. “Where is that future going to be without potable water for citizens who live in our community?”

The motion carried with McCormick opposed.