Leigh wants the pressure to get to Area D residents

Strathcona Regional District staff had delayed moving forward with a booster pump station despite the board of directors approving the money

York Road area residents having problems with their water pressure can expect some improvements after Area D director Brenda Leigh resurrected the issue which had been put on the back burner.

Strathcona Regional District staff had delayed moving forward with a booster pump station despite the board of directors approving the money for the project in this year’s budget.

Russ Hotsenpiller, chief administrative officer of the regional district, said the project “was on hold” because the regional district was “looking at the implications of the proposed boundary extension and what that would mean.”

Hotsenpiller was referring to the City of Campbell River’s proposal to extend its southern boundary to annex 1,000 Area D residents from Jubilee Parkway south to Henry Road to provide their households with city sewer service.

But Leigh said the households affected by the low water pressure are not a part of the area the city is considering.

“This area that has been experiencing low water pressure for years is outside of the boundary extension implications,” Leigh said. “It’s south of that, so it has nothing to do with that.”

Leigh noted that $335,000 had already been authorized by the board earlier this year to be taken from Area D’s Gas Tax Funds to go towards the project. Leigh became aware of the hold up during staff’s second quarter work plan presentation to the board July 25.

“I don’t know why we’re not going ahead with it,” Leigh said at the July 25 meeting. “If we need a pump station and it’s in the budget, then I would like that acted upon. I want it to be spent on Area D constituents to get the pressures we need. We need that pump station. I don’t think staff has any reason not to implement what the board has already acted upon, and soon.”

Two weeks later, at a board meeting Aug. 7, Leigh put forward a motion to issue a Request for Proposals to find a contractor to build the booster pump station and use the $335,000 for the project. That motion was approved by the board. Leigh explained that the southern end of Area D, particularly York Road, is receiving well-under the required pressure.

“We’re supposed to be delivering 80 pounds of pressure per square inch and I’ve talked this over with our CAO who said we’re down to 40 pounds and that’s not acceptable,” Leigh said. “The water has to go up the hill to up to 135 homes in the York Road subdivision, plus York Road. When you get to the end of the line, some people get nothing.”