By David F. Rooney
Council is being pressed to lift its moratorium on building permits in the Big Eddy.
Contractor George Buhler appeared before Council on Tuesday, April 28, to say a hold on building permits “makes absolutely no sense.” One building permit in the Big Eddy was frozen by the last Council when the Big Eddy Water Works was shown to be inadequate when it came to providing fire protection. Property owners in that neighbourhood can still apply for building permits.
“I was told by City staff that they are protecting the City by refusing the issuance of any more building permits because it would put the city at risk for liability,” he told Mayor Mark McKee and Council.
“There is absolutely no evidence that the City of Revelstoke would be liable for a fire unless they would refuse to attend the fire or make a reasonable attempt to extinguish the fire. I have also not heard of any Big Eddy resident or business that5 has been refused a fire insurance policy as a result of the water system (inadequacies)…”
Water pressure in the Big Eddy Water Works’ system of pipes is so low that the Fire Rescue Service brings a water tender when called to fire scenes in the Big Eddy.
Last year, the BEWW approached the City and asked that it be absorbed by the main City water system because it cannot afford the upgrades it requires.
The City of Revelstoke has applied for funding from the federal and provincial government so that it can rectify the BEWW’s problems.
Buhler also asked Council “to stop using the Big Eddy water system as a reason to deny the issuance of permits.”
McKee took exception to that comment and told Buhler that he and the members of this Council did not seek re-election so that they can stand in the way of development.
“Nobody around this table ran so we could block building permits in the Big Eddy,” he said. “I’d like to find an easy solution but I’m not sure there is an easy solution.”
You can watch George Buhler’s presentation to Council by activating the YouTube player below. His presentation is near the beginning of the Council meeting: