Lund Waterworks District has asked permission to turn the operation over to qathet Regional District (qRD).
At the qRD board meeting on July 30, directors reviewed a letter from Lund Waterworks District, indicating it does not have the financial means or people to continue to operate as it has been. The letter indicated that the system requires major upgrades to be compliant with Vancouver Coastal Health, and that qRD was unsuccessful in its application for a $17 million grant to upgrade the current system.
City director George Doubt said he had seen the letter and what Lund Waterworks District is doing is asking permission to convert it over to the regional district.
“I wonder what the financial implications of that would be to the qathet Regional District?” asked Doubt. “I’m looking to staff or others who have more experience with this.”
Electoral Area A director and board chair Brabazon said he’d try to bring the board up to speed on the issue.
“Basically, what they have done is drop the keys on the desk of the minister’s office,” said Brabazon. “The practice in British Columbia is the province will turn to the most likely local government, which happens to be us.
“They are making assumptions in their letter. There is no certainty in any of this. The financial implications are completely unclear because we don’t know what would be expected of us, were we to take it over, even though there has been a report on the matter.”
Brabazon said the regional district’s manager of operational services has been in discussion with Lund Waterworks District, and that he and the chief administrative officer had gone to Lund.
“It would be premature for us to get too excited at the moment until we find out just what the province is going to do with a new set of keys,” said Brabazon.
Electoral Area D director Sandy McCormick asked if the province would be contacting the regional district to have a discussion before leaving the regional district with the keys.
Brabazon asked if McCormick could define “discussion.”
McCormick said she meant the government talking to the regional district.
Brabazon said he really did not want to make a forecast on this matter.
“It would be premature to do anything other than receive this correspondence and wait and see what the fallout is,” said Brabazon. “For this district, it’s unprecedented. It’s happened in other districts with varying results.”
The board voted to receive the correspondence.
The letter from Lund Waterworks District stated it had written a letter to the province, asking for permission to convert the district over to qRD.
“We are not sure of the time frame or eventual changes this may cause to the users,” the letter stated. “We have committed to work with the ministry, the qRD and Vancouver Coastal Health to make the process as straightforward and adaptive as possible.”