Public Notice of Intent
We have re-issued the below Notice of Intent to include clarifying information about the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant and the likely reduction of parcel taxes depending on properties wishing to connect to the system. This provides assurance to the Eagle Cliff Local Service Area that the project is contingent on the completion of the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant.
Please disregard the Notice dated January 19 and refer instead to this Notice dated January 25, 2024.
This is a public notice under sections 213 and 217 of the Community Charter. Bowen Island Municipality intends to install a new watermain to connect the Eagle Cliff Water System to the Cove Bay Water System, ensuring a reliable and quality supply of drinking water to Eagle Cliff households. This project is contingent upon the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant being completed and in operation.
We intend to borrow up to $820,000 from the Municipal Finance Authority with a five (5) year maximum repayment term to fund this capital improvement. The loan would be re-paid in full by means of a local service tax. If your property is within the Eagle Cliff local service area (outlined in blue), you will be subject to a local service tax of approximately $1,600 per year, for the next five years (2024-2028).
The parcel tax per household will likely be lower, however, as there is interest from several properties along the watermain path who want to connect to the system. Any connection monies received from these property owners to join will be applied against the outstanding Eagle Cliff debt, minimizing debt payments.
Council may proceed with establishing 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 March 4, 2024. A petition against is a voting system based on objection. If you are in favour, no action is necessary. If you disagree with this proposal, you need to “petition against” it by submitting a Petition Against Response Form.
This Notice and a copy of the Petition Against Response Form has been mailed directly to all properties in the Eagle Cliff Local Service Area. If you need a digital copy of the form, please contact the Corporate Officer.
Questions? Please contact the Corporate Officer at 604-947-4255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Eagle Cliff water system (EC) has two significant challenges:
- Unreliable water supply
- Water quality concerns
The preferred approach to address the challenges is to connect EC to the Cove Bay water system (CB) via a new 1.3 km water main. Properties along the proposed water main alignment would have the opportunity to connect to municipal water as a result of the project.
In February 2022, BIM applied for funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Environmental Quality Stream (ICIP-EQ) for the Eagle Cliff and Cove Bay Water Systems Connection and Improvement Project. The scope of the proposed project included an estimated $4,859,000 worth of improvements, including the EC-CB connection water main, a new reservoir tank, and water main upgrade within the EC system. To support the grant application, Council gave first three readings to a loan authorization bylaw to authorize the borrowing of $1,296,000 to fund the share of the project costs that would have to be paid by the ECLSA.
At the end of August 2023, BIM received confirmation that the grant application was partially successful, with approval received for the EC- CB connection water main only. The approved grant funding is for up to 73.33% of project costs up to a maximum of $1,542,130.
At a meeting with the Eagle Cliff Local Advisory Committee (ECLAC) on Oct 11, 2023, an update was provided on the partial grant funding approval and the expected $820,000 share of the project costs that would have to be funded by the ECLSA, as summarized in Table 1 below. The ECLAC recommended that BIM proceed with the necessary steps to authorize borrowing $820,000, to be repaid by the ECLSA and any additional properties that join the water system by connecting to the proposed new water main.
Funding sources for the Eagle Cliff Cove Bay Connection Project
|Design and survey costs
|Allowance for 8% cost escalation
The proposed plan was brought to both Eagle Cliff and Cove Bay Local Service Area Committees and received support from both. The preferred funding strategy is to approve a short term (five) year loan, and borrow the money on an interim basis for up to five years before rolling it into the five year fixed term. Interest rates are anticipated to come down in the next few years, so keeping the loan open will take advantage of declining interest payments. With approximately 110 properties in Eagle Cliff, $820,000 over five years at 3.4% would be approximately $1,600 per year per property.
The amounts paid per household will likely be lower however, as there is interest from several property owners along the connection path who have indicated an desire to join the new system. Any money received from these property owners to join will be applied against the outstanding Eagle Cliff debt, further minimizing debt payments.
Estimated costs to join for new properties
As the Notice of Intent was revised, and if BIM gets the go ahead to borrow the funds, a new time line with proposed charges will be developed. Parcel Taxes are not expected to be charged in 2024 as per the table below, but will most likely first be charged on 2025 Tax Notices.
The September 28. 2020 Staff Report shows the following estimated cost comparison on page 16 which helped inform the decision to go with option 2c to connect the ECWS to CBWS as this was the only solution that provided reliable, consistent water flow and water quality throughout the year. These are very rough costs. Read the full report above to get more information.
STEP 2: MERGE EAGLE CLIFF AND COVE BAY
Council may, by bylaw, merge two local service areas into one (Community Charter s. 219), but it requires the approval of the electors in each local service area. This approval must be obtained separately for each area. Therefore, once the borrowing bylaw is approved, Council may proceed with a Counter Petition process in the Eagle Cliff and Cove Bay Local Service Areas.
This process is outlined in s. 213 of the Community Charter Local area service on council initiative — subject to petition against. A merger bylaw would be drafted and given first, second and third reading, and then Council would issue a Notice of Intent separately to Cove Bay and Eagle Cliff. The merger bylaw will provide that:
- repayment of the Eagle Cliff debt is to continue to be borne by the former Eagle Cliff local service area as if that area continued to exist; and
- repayment of the Cove Bay debt is to be borne by the entire merged area.
Staff will seek Council direction for the merger process if and when the borrowing for Eagle Cliff is approved.
STEP 3: ESTABLISH THE COVE CLIFF LOCAL SERVICE AREA
Once the merger bylaw is adopted, Council will need to establish a new Local Service Area – this is also done by bylaw. The establishment bylaw will:
- describe the service
- define the boundaries of the new local service area
- identify the methods of cost recovery
- define the membership of the local advisory committee, and
- repeal all bylaws related to the Cove Bay and Eagle Cliff water systems
Staff will seek Council direction to establish the new local service area if and when the merger bylaw is adopted.