Siphon fix to impact water rates

Siphon fix to impact water rates

The Town of Oliver continues to move ahead with the $11.5 million low-head siphon repair project at Gallagher Lake. Construction is set for November 2020 to April 2022. (File photo)

Borrowing $8.3 million for the Gallagher Lake siphon repair project will see an increase in Oliver’s water rates.

On Monday, acting Chief Financial Officer Doug Leahy noted that for every $1 million borrowed, that will increase water rates by $1.8 per cent based on an interest rate of three per cent.

The Town of Oliver has applied for disaster mitigation funding ($22.3 million) to reroute the irrigation canal around Gallagher Lake along Highway 97. This funding will also address upgrades to other sections of canal.

If approved, the project will require a maximum of $8.38 million contribution from the Town.

“To date, there has not been any indication that federal funding will be forthcoming,” Leahy said in his report.

The province has already committed $5 million towards the reconstruction of the canal that was damaged by a rock slide in 2016. But Leahy noted that unless a design and construction plan is undertaken soon, the “likelihood of the $5 million commitment remaining in place is in jeopardy.”

The project is anticipated to start in late 2019 and be completed in 2023/2024.