Public Notice of Intent to Borrow Funds

Bwp Service Area
Bluewater Park Service Area

BIM intends to borrow $3,100,000 from the Municipal Finance Authority with a 30 year maximum repayment term to fund work needed to ensure delivery of clean, safe drinking drinking water to Bluewater Park residents. If your property is within the local service area (outlined in blue on the map), you will be subject to a Parcel Tax of approximately $1,187.00 per year, for the next 30 years. This will be on your annual Property Tax Statement starting 2023.

Council may proceed with this service unless more than half of the landowners representing at least 50% of the assessed value of the land and improvements (buildings) that would be subject to the local service tax, petition against the service by February 6, 2023 (30 days after notice has been given).

In favour of the financing plan

If you own property within the local service area and you are IN FAVOUR of the financing plan for this project, no action is necessary.

Not in favour of the financing plan

If you are NOT IN FAVOUR, you may petition against this financing plan:
1. Confirm that your property is within the Bluewater Park Local Service Area
2. Complete a Petition Against Response Form
3. Submit the form to the Corporate Officer by 4:00 pm on February 6, 2023

  • In person or by mail to Municipal Hall
  • By fax to 604-947-0193
  • By e-mail to bim@bimbc.ca

Proposed Project

BIM proposes to spend $3,100,000.00 to upgrade Bluewater Park (BWP) water infrastructure to meet BWP demand. How will the money be spent?

  • Approximately $700,000.00 is earmarked to upgrade wells and connect Bowen Bay wells to the King Edward Bay reservoir.
  • Approximately $2,400,000.00 is to replace old undersized mains in the distribution system. The current mains are inadequate to provide sufficient flow for fire fighting capability.

Phase 1

Phase 1, expected to start June/July 2023 includes replacing the water mains with the highest risk of failure.

Water main replacement costs: $980,000.00
Well upgrades: $600,000.00

  • Replace about 410 m of 50-100 mm diameter mains along Windjammer with new 200 mm diameter mains, including service and hydrant connections ($440,000.00)
  • Replace about 395 m of old 50-100 mm diameter mains on Captain’s Way and Spyglass with new 150mm diameter mains, including the replacement of service connections and hydrant connections ($390,000.00)
  • Install new service connections for about 20 properties along Captain’s Way and upgrade their mains from 50 mm to 150 mm diameter ($50,000.00)
  • Install a dedicated fill line for a future BWP reservoir ($100,000.00)
  • Upgrade Bowen Bay (BB) wells #1, #2 and #3 to increase capacity, including well pumps, mechanical electrical and communications/controls ($260,000.00)
  • Install higher power pumps to achieve higher flow potential to pump up to King Edward Bay (KEB) reservoir
  • Construct new fill lines from BB wells to KEB chlorination shed, tie in to existing fill line and new pressure reducing valve ($340,000.00)

Phase 2

Water main replacement cost: $1,380,000.00
Well upgrades: $90,000.00

  • Replace about 530 m of old 100 mm diameter mains along Windjammer with new 200 mm mains, including replacement of service connections and hydrant connections ($570,000.00)
  • Install fill line for BWP reservoir in common trench with new Windjammer water mains ($130,000.00)
  • Replace about 690 m of old 50-100 mm diameter mains with 150 mm diameter mains including the replacement of service connections and hydrant connections ($680,000.00)
  • Upgrade BWP well #3 to increase capacity ($75,000.00)
  • Develop well head protection plans as required by Vancouver Coastal Health ($15,000.00)

Reference Documents: 221026 BWP Community Information Meeting Staff Presentation

Timeline

On January 5, 2023, BIM gave Notice of Intention to borrow $3,100,000.00 subject to petition against. Residents of BWP have until February 6, 2023 to petition against the borrowing.

If the Loan Adoption Bylaw is adopted, borrowing can be confirmed as early as May/June 2023.

BIM will be able to proceed with design and construction starting June/July 2023.

Bwp Project Timeline 1
BWP project timeline

Westside Water Systems

The Bluewater Park (BWP) water system services 147 connections in the Bluewater Park neighbourhood on the west side of the island. The neighbouring water systems, King Edward Bay (KEB) and Bowen Bay (BB), service 41 and 60 connections respectively. All three systems are connected in ways explained below, but they are separate local service areas funded by their own user fees and reserve funds.

Water for the BWP system is supplied from four drilled groundwater wells and stored in an 82 cubic metre metal storage tank. The wells do not supply enough water to adequately meet the needs of BWP residents. In addition, the pipes are old, were poorly installed and are prone to leaks.  To augment the supply of water to BWP residents, a connection between the BWP and the KEB systems was built, and water is now supplied year-round from the KEB wells.

Case for Infrastructure Replacement

The BWP system was constructed prior to 1970, and has been operated by Bowen Island Municipality since 2004. Based on what we’ve uncovered in the past few years, we can determine that much of the distribution system was not built to any construction standard.  The pipes appear to have been laid haphazardly on top of sharp pointy rocks and then buried with whatever surrounding material was available including gravel, logs and soil.  Over time, these pipes have degraded, and sharp rocks have gouged holes in them.  They have suffered significant corrosion in places, and they leak.

This is a leak that appeared in the water main in the Bluewater Park water system in July 2022.

221006 Bwp Keb Bb Relationship

Each year, these leaks result in a significant amount of water loss, and as a result, both the BWP wells and the KEB wells have to work overtime in order to compensate for the significant amount of water loss due to leakage.  More water is drawn than is necessary to supply the needs of the residents. This excess use is a problem because the wells do not have adequate opportunity for recharge.  There is concern that over time, the stress on the wells from excess use combined with the impacts of climate change could permanently decrease the wells’ production capacity.  These stressors also negatively impact the health of the aquifers that provide water to the area.

The KEB Water System was designed to serve the needs of the King Edward Bay residents, and as this neighborhood is increasingly built out, there is an inadequate supply to meet the demands of both KEB and BWP users.   All BWP water sourced from KEB wells is metered, and a transfer is made annually from the BWP reserve fund to the KEB reserve fund to compensate the KEB system for the water supplied to BWP.  This water loss due to leakage creates negative impacts to BWP users, both from a long-term sustainable water supply perspective, and from a financial perspective.

As confirmed by an aquifer study conducted in 2020, if the wells in BWP, KEB and BB systems were optimized, the amount of water that could sustainably be produced would meet the needs of the residents of all three systems, now and into the future when the full build out of KEB and BWP occurs.  This solution assumes the problem with water leakage in BWP is eliminated through replacement of the watermains.  On their own, both the KEB system and the BB system can reliably meet the current and future demands of their respective residents.  The well optimization project therefore primarily benefits the residents of BWP, by securing access to a sufficient, reliable supply of fresh drinking water.

Recommended Improvements

The phases of the proposed Bluewater Park Water System Replacement Project have been discussed with the Bluewater Park Local Advisory Committee and presented at a community meeting.  The elements of the project include:

  • Replacement of the BWP watermains preventing future water loss due to leakage
  • Optimization of the wells in BWP, KEB and BB to increase sustainable water production,  and construction of a fill line from Bowen Bay wells to the King Edward Bay reservoir tank to increase available supply
  • Construction of a new reservoir tank in BWP to increase storage and fire suppression capacity.

The phases and respective cost estimates are explained in a staff report presented to Council on November 28, 2022.

Project Financing

The cost estimates above would need to be financed through long-term debt.  The Municipality monitors relevant grant programs and will make an application in support of this project should an appropriate opportunity become available.  In absence of any grant funding however, the project will need to move forward funded by debt.

Project costs above have been increased from cost estimates presented at previous meetings to better reflect current cost estimates to undertake the various phases of the project. Project scope may vary.

The phases and respective cost estimates are explained in a staff report presented to Council on November 28, 2022.

Costs of borrowing are presented in the table below:

Annual cost of $1,000,000 of debt (30 year amortization)

2%4%6%
Total annual principal and interest per $1 m of debt$41,019$61,019$81,019
Per parcel$263$391$519
*Current long term debt interest rates are 4%

Borrowing these funds will require approval of property owners within the Bluewater Park water system.

Loan Authorization Bylaw

At the November 28, 2022 Regular Council meeting, staff presented the approach to address the urgent water infrastructure issues, including the Loan Authorization Bylaw 595, 2022. Council referred the matter to a Committed of the Whole meeting with the chairs of the Local Advisory Committees for Bowen Bay, King Edward Bay and Bluewater Park, and to report back at the December 12, 2022 Regular Council meeting with a recommendation.

Staff recommended a Loan Authorization Bylaw at the Committee of the Whole on December 7, 2022. Read the staff report. Watch the meeting here.

At the December 12, 2022 Regular Council Meeting, Council passed a resolution to read BIM Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 595, 2022 which authorizes the borrowing of up to $3.1 million in capital funds to enable sourcing and supplying of additional water for Bluewater Park, a first, second and third time.