Alternative Approval Process (AAP) - Bralorne Sewer

Apr 8, 2019
Electoral Area A

Alternative Approval Process (AAP) – Bralorne Sewer System Local Government Conversion and Establishment Bylaw

Alternative Approval Process (AAP) - Bralorne Sewer System Local Service Conversion and Establishment Bylaw No. 585, 1995, Amendment Bylaw No. 1614-2019 (the “Proposed Bylaw”).

Service Area

This information relates to the SLRD’s Bralorne Sewer Local Service Area, which consists of a portion of the community of Bralorne in SLRD Electoral Area A as participant (the “Bralorne Sewer Service Area”), as shown on the map below:  

Summary

In 2016, the SLRD was awarded a Gas Tax grant of $1,999,530.00 (the “Grant”) for the new Bralorne sewer system project (the “Project”). The Project comprises 2.3 km of piping, 107 service connections and a new wastewater treatment plant capable of meeting modern standards. The Project is considered critical to the long-term health and sustainability of the Bralorne community.

In order to receive the full amount of the Grant, the Project must be completed by December 31, 2019. Otherwise, a claw back of $299,929 is expected to be applied (15% of the Grant = $299,929).  To address the shortfall between the Grant funding and the actual cost of the Project, the SLRD has been working to secure additional loan financing.

Current Situation

  • The scope of the Project has been reduced.
  • On February 27, 2019, the SLRD Board authorized a short-term loan (i.e. 5 years) of $300,000 (“the “Loan”) for the purpose of completing the Project. The estimated annual debt servicing costs are $69,000 for a total of 5 years. Please see below for financial impacts.
  • In order to cover the debt servicing associated with the $300,000 loan, the SLRD is in the process of seeking elector approval via Alternative Approval Process (“AAP”) to increase the maximum annual requisition under the Proposed Bylaw. 
  • This AAP is the third attempt to obtain elector approval of the funding required to complete the Project. If elector approval is not obtained, then the following will occur:
  1. the Project will not be completed at this time;
  2. it is expected that the 15% claw back of the Grant will be applied (i.e. which means forfeiting funding of $299,929); and
  3. the existing, outdated sewage treatment system will continue to be used pursuant to the terms of the existing discharge permit which requires septic treatment only. (But please see the following two paragraphs: the provincial government may not allow the use of this outdated system to continue.)

Although the Bralorne sewer system is currently exempt from having to meet current community wastewater standards (such as the requirement to have a secondary treatment component), the exemption is not ensured to remain in place indefinitely - the provincial government has previously advised the SLRD that it could potentially require the secondary treatment via imposing a permit amendment to the existing discharge permit.

If the Project is not completed and the provincial government requires a secondary treatment component to be implemented in Bralorne, the SLRD would then explore how loan financing could be secured and the associated tax requisition increase for the debt servicing costs. At a minimum, what would be required is the total of $300,000 (current identified funding shortfall) + $299,929 (portion of Grant expected to be forfeited) + undetermined construction cost escalation. 

Additional Funding Support (only if electoral approval is obtained)

Conditional upon adoption of the Proposed Bylaw, Electoral Area A Director John Courchesne and the SLRD Board have agreed to provide Area A Northern Area BC Hydro Payment in Lieu of Taxes Funds Reserve (“PILT Funds”) to be applied towards reducing the debt servicing costs.

PILT Funds of $20,000 per year for 5 years (i.e. total of $100,000 over 5 years) applied against the annual debt servicing costs will reduce the amount to be paid by the 95 taxable parcels in the Bralorne Sewer Service Area as follows:

Estimated annual debt servicing on $300,000$69,000
(minus annual PILT funds)($20,000)
Reduced annual debt servicing costs$49,000

The reduced debt servicing costs come to an estimated $543 per parcel (inclusive of the mandatory 5.25% provincial fee), which is on top of the $346 that is the existing maximum requisition amount per parcel per year.  The table below shows the total payable per parcel based on the existing maximum requisition amount of $31,250 plus the amount required to service the Loan after applying the PILT Funds of $20,000 for 5 years (i.e. $49,000).

 With $20,000 Annual PILT Funds applied to debt servicing costs
New annual maximum requisition amount$80,250 ($31,250 + $49,000)
New annual maximum requisition amount - inclusive of provincial fee of 5.25%$84,463
New annual maximum requisition amount per parcel - inclusive of provincial fee of 5.25%

$899 ($346 current requisition amount + $543 new requisition amount for loan)

For 5 Years

After 5 years, as the Loan will be paid off (i.e. no further debt servicing costs), the amount per parcel should revert back close to the previous amount of $346/per year, plus amounts to account for inflation.

If 8 or more electors formally oppose the tax requisition increase that is necessary to service the Loan (i.e. by completing and submitting the elector response form referenced in the attached Notice of Alternative Approval Process), then electoral approval will not be obtained, the Proposed Bylaw will not be adopted, and the Project will not be completed due to the existing funding shortfall.

This AAP is the last opportunity to access the remaining 15% of the Grant (as it is expected to be forfeited if the Project is not completed by December 31, 2019) and to complete the Project at construction pricing that was secured in 2018. 

AAP Background

Local governments can use an Alternative Approval Process as a way to obtain electoral approval with respect to certain types of proposed bylaws. An AAP is less expensive than undertaking assent voting (referendum). Learn about the Alternative Approval Process for local government.

Prior to undertaking an AAP, the Inspector of Municipalities (Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs) must first approve the request. The SLRD received approval from the Inspector of Municipalities on April 4, 2019 to undertake an AAP for the Proposed Bylaw.  The Proposed Bylaw will allow the SLRD to tax requisition the additional funds necessary to pay the debt servicing costs associated with a short-term (5 year) loan of $300,000.

AAP - What's Required

A local government must publish a Notice of Alternative Approval Process for two consecutive weeks in a local newspaper. In the case of this AAP, the SLRD is placing the Notice in the Bridge River Lillooet News and the Pique Newsmagazine, as follows:

  • Bridge River Lillooet News: April 10 and April 17, 2019
  • Pique Newsmagazine: April 11 and April 18, 2019

As additional notice, the SLRD is also publishing the Notice of Alternative Approval Process in the Mountain Telegraph on May 6, 2019.

The deadline for submitting elector responses for this AAP is 4:30 p.m. on May 21, 2019. 

The method by which an eligible elector expresses opposition to the Proposed Bylaw is by signing and submitting an Electoral Response Form to the SLRD (before 4:30 p.m. on May 21, 2019). Eligible electors must provide their full name and residential address. Eligible non-resident property electors must also provide the address of the property that they own within the Bralorne Sewer Service Area and they are only entitled to sign and submit one elector response form, regardless of how many properties they may own within the Bralorne Sewer Service Area.  If a property is owned by more than one person, only one of the owners may submit an Elector Response Form in respect of that property and a majority of the property owners must sign a Consent setting out which of the owners is authorized to submit the Elector Response Form on their behalf.  If a corporation is the owner (or one of the owners) of the property, no one may submit an Elector Response Form in respect of that property.

If 10% of eligible electors in the Bralorne Sewer Service Area - 8 people - oppose the SLRD Board's intention to adopt the Proposed Bylaw, the SLRD Board cannot proceed with adopting the Proposed Bylaw unless elector approval is obtained via assent voting.

If the 10% threshold is not attained (i.e. if less than 8 electors submit Elector Response Forms), then the SLRD Board may proceed with adopting the Proposed Bylaw.

The SLRD will use this page to provide regular updates on this project.

Public Engagement

Using the mailing addresses provided by BC Assessment, a letter to property owners in the Bralorne Sewer Service Area was sent out via regular mail on April 9, 2019.

Community Information Meetings will take place as follows:

Community Information Meeting
Date: April 23, 2019
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Bralorne Fire Hall

Community Information Meeting via Teleconference
Date: April 29, 2019
Time: 10 a.m.
Call: 1-855-392-2520 (Toll Free)
Participant Access Code: 2845450

Background Information

Important Forms and Documents

Questions?

For more information about the Alternative Approval Process (AAP), please contact:
Kristen Clark
Director of Legislative and Corporate Services
Telephone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 230
Email: kclark@slrd.bc.ca

For more information about the Bralorne Sewer Upgrade project, please contact:
Ed Witwicki
Senior Engineering Technologist
Telephone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 227
Email: ewitwicki@slrd.bc.ca

Alternative Approval Process (AAP) - Bralorne Sewer