The new owner of the Canfor sawmill site donated an acre of land to the TNRD to use for a future water treatment facility for the community of Vavenby. From left: Carol Schaffer, director of Area “A” for the TNRD, Jake Devlin, director of environmental services for the TNRD, Brian Fehr, B.C. entrepreneur, Brian Baarda, CEO Peak Renewables, and Dave Tantrun, site coordinator for Vavenby. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)

The new owner of the Canfor sawmill site donated an acre of land to the TNRD to use for a future water treatment facility for the community of Vavenby. From left: Carol Schaffer, director of Area “A” for the TNRD, Jake Devlin, director of environmental services for the TNRD, Brian Fehr, B.C. entrepreneur, Brian Baarda, CEO Peak Renewables, and Dave Tantrun, site coordinator for Vavenby. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)

Old Canfor land to become new site for water treatment

The community of Vavenby’s future water treatment system has a home, thanks to a land donation from the new owners of what was the Canfor sawmill.

Brian Baarda, chief executive officer of Peak Renewables, and British Columbian entrepreneur, Brian Fehr, visited the old Canfor site Monday morning to announce the donation of a chunk of the property to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to be used for a future water treatment system for Vavenby’s roughly 700 residents.

“Do the right thing for the people of Vavenby,” said Fehr.

The land donation puts the TNRD one step closer to getting Vavenby residents filtered water that meets Canadian standards.

Currently, the water system in the community is fed from the river and it can become turbid and the only treatment being done to the supply is chlorination, said Jake Devlin, director of environmental services with the TNRD. If there is sediment in the water, the customer will get sediment out of their taps.

He added the objective of the TNRD is to have all of the water systems that they look after meet Canadian filtration guidelines for water quality. But, just like with all things, there’s a catch — cost.

“The only way you can afford to do it is with grant assistance from higher levels of government, provincial and federal,” said Devlin. “In order for us to do that we need to really do our homework to figure out what we’re going to build, where we’re going to build it and how much it’s going to cost.

“Brian and his land donation to us for Vavenby is absolutely essential in answering those preliminary questions, allowing us to do the pre-engineering work to figure out what the project would look like.”

Once they’ve figured that out, he added, they will then be ready to apply for grant funding when the various levels of government issue a program that fits the needs of the system.

The TNRD also installed water meters to help find leaks throughout the system. Being able to repair these leaks will assist in taking some pressure off the system, bringing the demand lower, which will ultimately save money down the road when the water treatment plant is built.

As far as the rest of the formerly Canfor-owned land, Fehr said there’s nothing solid in the works yet, except for gutting and decomissioning the sawmill site, which will take the next year or so to complete. After that, it’s filled with opportunity, but should bring in industry that suits the area.

“It’s a forestry-based area, no matter what anybody tells you,” he said. “That allows us an opportunity to do something here with biofuel and biorefinery — taking waste out of the bush and turning it into something. That is what I believe has to happen here in order to supply some jobs…I believe when you hit bottom, you can recover.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

This dark blue 2004 Ford 350 truck (with winches and a headache rack) was stolen from a property on Lodgepole Road in Barriere anywhere between the time of 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23. (Myram Facebook photo)
Truck stolen in Barriere last Monday – information sought

“Too much theft going on and no repercussions” says local

An animal at large, such as a dog running elsewhere than on the property of its owner, is one of many restrictions under the District of Clearwater's animal control bylaw. (Pixabay)
Facebook post causes stir around animal control

A resolution passed at the Nov. 3 District of Clearwater regular council… Continue reading

Directors Bill Kershaw (Area O), left, Stephen Quinn (Area B) and Carol Schaffer (Area A), heard from the public during a hearing for the TNRD's proposed Official Community Plan on Nov. 18 at the Blackpool Community Hall. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
Short-term rentals controversial for East Barriere Lake

A public hearing to hear concerns or support for the Thompson-Nicola Regional… Continue reading

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

School District 27 announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 this week (Nov. 23) at Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Entire gym class at northern B.C. high school isolating after confirmed COVID case

Contact tracing by Interior Health led to the quarantine

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, B.C. couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Most Read