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Modular chemical storage to be added to Sechelt Water Resource Centre

Staff sought council’s approval for short-term borrowing of up to $300,000 for two modular chemical storage buildings.
N.Water Resource Centre
Sechelt's water resource centre as seen in March 2022.

The Water Resource Centre (WRC) in Sechelt may soon see the addition of two modular chemical storage buildings. 

At the Nov. 16 meeting, Sechelt council approved staff’s short-term borrowing request, as the sewer reserves are not large enough to pay for the storage outright. The five-year term will address concerns first identified by a WorkSafeBC inspection in 2016, when it found chemical storage in a workshop within the WRC as “unacceptable from an Occupational Health and Safety code perspective.”

The loan of up to $300,000 includes a contingency of $55,000. The only response to the District’s request for proposal was received earlier this year from Quatrex Environmental Inc. and is within the budget of $350,000. The MFA does not provide fixed-term rates for short-term borrowing, so it will be a variable loan. Yearly payments will be around $66,500. 

Mayor John Henderson said council members were given a tour of the WRC facility the week before.

Coun. Dianne McLauchlan, who said she lives near the area, asked whether the material to be stored is toxic or soluble or “a risk in any way” to the surrounding community. 

The District’s director of engineering and operations Kirn Dhillon said these modular storage containers are used across the country, and have to be built to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) standards. Air ventilation units will be attached and double containment built in. The containers will be resistant to combustion, he added. 

Coun. Darren Inkster voiced his support, considering the district’s overall debt is quite low. Council’s decision to fund the project through a short-term loan was unanimous.

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