News » Sea to Sky

Pemberton water termination bylaw deferred

SLRD owes almost $449K in unpaid fees for Pemberton North in long dispute



The Village of Pemberton has deferred the fourth and final reading of its Termination of Water Service Bylaw No. 717, 2012 until February.

This is the second time the council has deferred the decision in as many months.

The bylaw would allow the village to give notice to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) to terminate its longstanding arrangement to supply bulk water to Pemberton North in SLRD Area C.

Pemberton documents cite $448,938.19 in outstanding and unpaid fees owed to the VOP by the SLRD as of Sept. 30, 2012. The SLRD objects to fee rates in Area C.

The SLRD's chief administrative officer Lynda Flynn, who observed the Pemberton meeting, confirmed she, Area C director Susie Gimse and SLRD chair Patricia Heintzman had met with Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy and CAO Daniel Sailland on Jan. 14. She said it had been "respectful, a good meeting," the outcome of which was the request by the SLRD to defer the fourth and final reading of Bylaw 717, 2012 into February.

"It was a frank discussion and we made some progress," Sturdy said during the regular council meeting of Jan. 22.

Council went into an in camera session to discuss the SLRD's request and decided to defer the decision.

"I thinks this demonstrates that we are going to continue to have discussions with the regional district on the resolution of this issue," Sturdy said.

"We will formulate a counterproposal and meet with the group again hopefully, if not at the end of this week, the beginning of next."

Asked how it was going, Sturdy said it was complicated.

"We're really dealing with two issues. The first is historical outstanding debt and the other one is a framework for moving forward. They're hard to keep separate, but there are differences, nuances. It's essentially moving forward in a two-pronged approach on how to resolve all the issues," he said.

Pemberton Creek RFEI passes

Earlier in the day, Pemberton's council chamber was filled to capacity as the Pemberton Creek Community Power Project was discussed at the regular council meeting.

Twenty-two members of the public were present as councillors passed the request for expression of interest (RFEI) into the power project or other options, as recommended by Village of Pemberton staff.

Councillor Ted Craddock said he was pleased about the broad objectives of the RFEI covering possible partnerships.

Council fielded questions about the project and RFEI for 30 minutes following the vote.

Innergex presents update to council

Innergex presented an update to Pemberton Council at its Jan. 22 Committee of the Whole meeting a week after the provincial government's environmental assessment approval of the Upper Lillooet independent power project.

Innergex's project manager for the Upper Lillooet, Chris Muniak, told council that civil contract bids for the project would be sought from Jan. 31, 2013 and would be awarded on Feb. 15, as would the awarding of the transmission line contract. The construction permit for the project is expected to be issued in March, and jobs fairs in Pemberton and Mount Currie would take place in April.