A decades-long dispute between two North Okanagan communities over water fees has finally been settled.
For over 40 years, the City of Armstrong and the Township of Spallumcheen have been unable to resolve a dispute over how much users pay for the water they utilize, but on Tuesday, the two neighbouring communities signed an agreement, putting an end to the water fight.
“It’s a great agreement for the township, and a great agreement for the City of Armstrong,” described Mayor or Spallumcheen Christine Fraser.
“It provides both communities with some long-term benefits and some security in knowing that the costs are going to be covered.”
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The settlement agreement ensures both municipalities have secure access to the water supply, and that costs will be distributed fairly for rural and urban water users.
“The two parties got together and just determined what parts of the system are being used for each community,” said Fraser.
“So, in those costs, it’s been done really fairly — with the amount of water that you use is the amount that you pay for of the system.”
The agreement also means the two municipalities will continue to work together to fund capital projects and promote water conservation.
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“We’re ecstatic that our teams have come together and found a resolution to this problem,” explained Mayor of Armstrong Joe Cramer.
“Now that we understand that the resolutions can come out, without personalities being involved, and better minds coming to the table, we’ll move forward with many other projects.”
Not having to go through a provincial arbitration process was also a financial benefit to both communities. Now that both mayors have signed the settlement agreement, it has now come into effect.
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