City to annex Thomas Brook properties unless voters say No
By David F. Rooney
City Council has voted to annex the 23 properties of Thomas Brook residents, pending approval by Revelstoke’s 5,664 registered voters through the alternative electoral process that requires voters to register their vote only if they do not approve of the annexation.
Residents who wish to register their vote can do so at City Hall between August 17 and September 26 at 4:30 pm. property owners in the Thomas Brook area are currently residents of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District — not the City of Revelstoke.
“Property owners in the Thomas Brook area approached the City last year requesting
assistance to resolve long-standing issues regarding potable water in the area,” said a report to Council by Dawn Low, the City’s director of Corporate Administration, on Tuesday, August 9. “These properties are currently taking water from the Thomas Brook water system and are under a boil water notice and order from Interior Health to upgrade the system to meet drinking water standards or find an alternative source of potable water. City policy prohibits the provision of water and sewer services outside the municipal boundary and on the basis of the request from area property owners the City of Revelstoke initiated the boundary extension process in December 2015.”
She said in her report that staff estimate that, if successful, the boundary extension will be
finalized by the end of 2016 and at that point “the City will then be in a position to establish a local area service and borrowing bylaws to obtain funds on behalf of the Thomas Brooks residents.”
The City intends to ask the provincial government to set the tax rates for Thomas Brook residents at the rural CSRD rate for a period of five years from the date of inclusion in the municipal boundary in order to offset the additional cost of water and sewer services to those properties. Additionally, the proposal includes the provision of $300,000 via the CSRD (from federal gas tax grants and its Economic Opportunity Fund) to reduce the servicing cost to owners and reduce the debt repayments.
A meeting between the City, Interior Health and the Thomas Brook water users is tentatively
scheduled for 7 pm on Thursday, September 8 as an opportunity for Thomas Brook water user area residents to ask questions, make comments and gather information.