Voters will get final say on P3 water agreement

Voters will have the final say on whether Abbotsford and Mission move forward on a P3 (public private partnership) deal for the new Stave Lake water system.

It was revealed at a joint council meeting on Thursday night, that if both councils approve a P3 recommendation, a referendum would be held during the municipal elections in November.

Voters will have the final say on whether Abbotsford and Mission move forward on a P3 (public private partnership) deal for the new Stave Lake water supply and treatment project.

It was announced at a joint council meeting on Thursday night that if both councils approve a P3 recommendation, a referendum would be held during the municipal elections in November. A P3 deal could result in as much as $70 million in federal government funding towards the system, which is now estimated at $300 million – $50 million for the intake/pump station, $130 million for the water treatment plant, $105 million worth of pipeline construction and $15 million for reservoir construction.

“It’s an increase of about $100 million from the original estimate,” said Tracy Kyle, Abbotsford’s director of water and solid waste.

She explained the increase was partially due to the need for an underground tunnel to connect the intake with the pump station, to avoid disturbing known archeological sites and address concerns raised by First Nations.

Stave Lake’s water is needed to meet the demands of both Abbotsford and Mission. It would become the cities’ fourth source of water. Presently the two communities are serviced by Norrish Creek, Cannel Lake and 19 groundwater wells. These three water sources will continue to be maintained and run publicly.

“Our main water source will still be Norrish Creek. Stave Lake will just supplement it,” said Abbotsford Mayor George Peary, adding if approved, only Stave Lake would fall under the P3 umbrella.

Chris Baisley, from the consulting firm of Deloitte & Touche, explained the P3 business case to members of both councils.

He is recommending a hybrid-P3 application involving both the design-build-operate (DBO) model and the design-build-finance-operate (DBFO) model. As the names suggest, one model has a private entity design, build and operate the water system, in this case under a 25-year term, while the other also includes private  financing.

The hybrid idea would see the intake and pump station, water treatment plant and the reservoir expansion fall under the DBFO model while the transmission mains (piping) would be DBO.

The inclusion of private financing creates a long-term warranty, which ensures the pump station and treatment plant run smoothly over the 25-year period. However, the piping, once in the ground, does not need the benefit of a warranty, said Baisley.

The hybrid plan should fit under the guidelines of PPP Canada, which may provide a grant up to 25 per cent of the total cost.

Both councils will discuss and vote on the P3 recommendation during their next meetings on April 4. The public will have the opportunity to provide input at that time.

If councils both agree to move forward, the referendum will be a two-part question – one regarding borrowing money to pay for the capital costs, and the other asking for approval of the financial terms of the P3 agreement. Both communities would have to approve the referendum for the project to move forward.

Just Posted

City begins community engagement for Mission Waterfront Revitalization Master Plan

Wants the community’s input to bring to life the vision outlined in the Official Community Plan

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)
Hope’s Othello Tunnels fully open to the public

Geological testing proved the area safe enough to open for the first time in more than a year

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

Father’s Day Parade planned for Mission

Classic vehicles from the 1920s to the 1970s will drive through Mission, Hatzic on June 20

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read