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Breathing room on water restrictions and junior hockey decisions: July 14 SCRD Briefs

The Chapman Water System hasn't seen Stage 1 water restrictions hold until late July since 2017. But, with the snowpack around the lake still melting, the users of the SCRD's largest water system have had a reprieve from the stricter restrictions this year.
SCRD Chapman water
July 14 Water Supply Update for the Chapman system detailed the dates different stage restrictions have been implemented between 20015 and 2022

“There’s still snow at Chapman Lake.” That was the welcome opening remark made by general manager of infrastructure Remko Roosenboom at the Sunshine Coast Regional District committee of the whole meeting on July 14.

Rosenboom presented the regular water supply update report noting that having measurable snowpack at the lake in July was “not normal." He said that a site survey conducted on July 1 showed just over 130 cm remaining, but that amount would have declined over the days that followed. Even faster-paced changes are anticipated in the coming weeks, as “warmer than normal temperatures” are being forecasted, according to the manager’s report.

The snowmelt water supply combined with cool, damp spring and early summer weather may allow the Chapman system to remain at Stage 1 watering restrictions throughout the bulk of July, Rosenboom reported. In a meeting presentation, he reviewed a chart outlining the dates that different watering restriction levels were implemented in years dating back to 2015. Late July implementation of Stage 2 for the Chapman system has not been experienced since 2017.

With existing conditions, system users increased focus on water conservation and the Chaster Road well ready to come online, Rosenboom said the risk of 2022 Stage 4 restrictions for Chapman, the watershed serving the majority of the SCRD’s water customers, was lower than in previous years. 

Church Road well field completion delayed; early completion bonus possible

After presenting a staff report detailing how supply chain issues for pump controller parts would stall bringing the Church Road water supply project online until at least December, Rosenboom said discussions with the local contractor regarding an early completion bonus were under way. The SCRD  included a bonus clause in the contract, focused on having well field water available during summer 2022. In response to a question from Area A director Darnelda Siegers, he indicated the applicability of the clause was being examined, given that the delay was not under the control of the local firm doing the work.

In response to a question about operating the pump without the delayed controller components, he said that might be possible but would result in additional costs and risks, outweighing any benefits received.

Updated appliance and textile recycling initiatives recommended

Cooperation with provincial and national programs to offer free recycling of household appliances and textiles at SCRD solid waste facilities was recommended following the receipt of staff reports. 

Elected officials had questions on the logistics of how separate drop-off programs for different materials would work for residents bringing mixed loads to the facilities. Staff said more details will be forthcoming if the board endorses pursuing these initiatives.  Endorsement is slated to be considered at the board meeting of July 28.

Junior hockey expansion to the Coast may be delayed by the league

At the SCRD board meeting that followed the committee discussion, manager of community services Shelley Gagnon provided a verbal update on the efforts to bring a Junior B hockey league to the Coast

She said the local group applying to the Pacific Junior Hockey League advised her via email that it made its initial presentation on June 25.  All indications are that their pitch went well, and that the league is now considering delaying its proposed Fall, 2023 league expansion. 

Gagnon said that staff efforts with the local group related to the potential for creating a Coast-based franchise with the SCRD’s Gibsons and Area Community Centre as its home base would continue. She said that both parties want to avoid “loosing momentum," and that a further update on the subject would be provided to the board later this year. 

Applying for a $6 million grant for water meters

Most of the $7.9 million in borrowing authorized in 2021 by electors to fund the purchase and installation of water meters in the Sechelt area may not be needed if a grant application is successful.  At the meeting, the board endorsed an application for a grant of $6 million to the Union of BC Municipalities Canada Community-Building Fund. The SCRD's application is for the maximum amount of funding allowed under the program.

While the decision date on grant awards was not indicated, Siegers noted that unlike many other infrastructure grant programs, this opportunity will fund project costs incurred by local governments before grant approvals are announced. The SCRD is planning to proceed with its third phase of water meter installations in the third quarter of 2023.