Clearwater plans for water shortages

Water levels in its gravity-fed system got so low that the District relied entirely on water pumped from its wells

Local resident Goldie Krawec wants to see District of Clearwater contact property owners if they are using more than their fair share of water.

She made the suggestion during a town council meeting held Sept. 8.

Staff presently leave a notice if they know of someone who is abusing their water privileges, said chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx.

However, the municipality is limited in what it can do because it has no specific bylaws.

Other jurisdictions have found that people often use more water if controls are put on, said councillor Merlin Blackwell.

“You can’t win on that,” Blackwell said.

Clearwater uses significantly more water than most similar sized towns, which would indicate leakage is a major problem.

Some leaks have been identified but others likely remain, Blackwell reported.

Eliminating leaks would make it easier to pinpoint problem water users.

Gord Heisterman suggested that water meters might be an alternative worth looking at.

Mayor John Harwood said the municipality would be looking at steps it could take to avoid a situation similar to what occurred this summer.

Water levels in its gravity-fed system, which draws water from creeks behind the ski hill, got so low that the District relied entirely on water pumped from its wells.

During its July meeting, town council approved applying for an infrastructure planning grant of $15,000 to help pay for a nighttime leakage and water metering study.

Cost overrun affects park upgrades

Public works superintendent Bruce Forsyth reported to council that a project to replace sewage pumps at Capostinksy Ball Park came in at considerably above expectations.

The washroom facility at the ball diamonds formerly used a small makeshift septic system to pump effluent to the District’s sewage lagoons, he said.

That system broke down in June of last year. A pump and haul system was used for the remainder of the 2014 ball season.

Town council allocated $5,000 to replace the pump system. However, when the quotes were received they were well above budget.

Nevertheless, council approved awarding the contract to Borrow Enterprises for nearly $11,000.

During inspection it became clear that the electrical works needed upgrading as well. That work was completed by VP Electric at a cost of $1,700.

The $8,000 in extra funds was taken from the parks capital works fund, which in turn means lower priority projects were moved forward to 2016.

Business licensing moves forward

Town council gave second and third reading to a business licensing and regulation bylaw.

Council had given first reading to the bylaw in July of 2014.

However, to ensure consistency between new zoning bylaw and the business licensing bylaw, staff amended the latter in several areas.

Proposed implementation date would be January of 2016.

 

Implementation will include education sessions, mail-outs and word of mouth. Businesses will also be sent a letter, including an outline of the application process and a copy of the bylaw.