Alternative Approval Process (AAP) – Bralorne Sewer System Service Conversion and Establishment Amendment Bylaw and Loan Authorization Bylaw

Contact Information

For more information about the Alternative Approval Process (AAP), 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 infrastructure project, contact:
Jeff Giffin
Director of Engineering Services
Telephone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 240
Email: jgiffin@slrd.bc.ca

Oct 3, 2018
Electoral Area A

Alternative Approval Process (AAP) - Bralorne Sewer System Local Service Conversion and Establishment Bylaw No. 585, 1995, Amendment Bylaw No. 1594-2018, and Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Bralorne Wastewater Treatment System Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1595-2018 

Summary

The SLRD has been working to secure funding for the complete replacement and upgrade of the Bralorne sewer system, comprising 2.3 km of piping, 107 service connections and a new wastewater treatment plant capable of meeting modern standards. The Bralorne Sewer Upgrade project is considered critical to the long-term health and sustainability of the Bralorne community.

In 2016, the SLRD was successful in receiving a Federal Gas Tax Agreement Strategic Priorities Fund grant in the amount of $1,999,530 to complete the upgrades to the sewer system. However, due to increased construction costs, additional funding is required to complete the project.  $38,000 of reserves in the Sewer System’s Cost Centre and $91,000 of Electoral Area A’s Federal Gas Tax Agreement Community Works Funds have been allocated to this project. As well, the SLRD is seeking a 30-year loan of up to $700,000 to complete the project and is also seeking to increase the annual requisition limit in the Bralorne Sewer System Service Area to allow for the debt servicing on the loan.

An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is now underway to secure elector approval to proceed with the borrowing. The deadline to receive elector responses is November 13, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.

Service Area

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

 

Background

The community of Bralorne is serviced by the original sanitary sewer system which was constructed more than 90 years ago by the mining company operating in the area at that time. A development company later took over ownership of the systems after purchasing the mine site from the mining company. The SLRD assumed ownership of the sewer infrastructure in 1989 after a developer overestimated the market for recreational and vacation properties and was unable to finance planned sewerage system and other improvements. Additional background about the original sewer system and the need to upgrade it is available here.

Grant Funding

Without grant funding, it was beyond the ability of the small tax base (100 folios, of which 5 are exempt for taxation and the remaining 95 are not) to contemplate financing a replacement for the existing sewer system.

In 2015, the SLRD obtained letters from the Interior Health Authority and the Ministry of Environment in support of its application to the Federal Gas Tax Agreement Strategic Priorities Fund (“Gas Tax Grant”) for the construction of a new sewer system. In February 2016, the SLRD received notification that it had been successful in securing a Gas Tax Grant in the amount of $1,999,530 for the complete replacement and upgrade of the Sewer System (comprising 2.3 km of piping, 107 service connections and a new wastewater treatment plant capable of meeting modern standards).

Project Initiation

In June 2016, the SLRD issued a Request for Proposals for design services for the New Sewer System and by early 2017, detailed drawings for the New Sewer System were developed. Before finalizing the drawings and tendering the project, the SLRD had to initiate or resolve various issues, including obtaining a new location for the treatment plant, negotiating rights of way for new collection pipes, undertaking an Environmental Impact Study and obtaining permits for construction and waste discharge.

Recent Developments

Since preparing the Gas Tax Grant application during the summer of 2015 (with the project budget of $1,999,530), construction costs in the region have risen dramatically.  In April 2018, the SLRD issued a Request for Proposals for the construction of the New Sewer System; all proposals received were substantially higher than the initial cost estimate obtained in 2015 when the SLRD submitted its grant application for federal Gas Tax funding.

Given the essential nature of the project and to address the funding shortfall, the SLRD made some reductions in the scope of the work and also split the project into Phase 1 (which is the majority of the piping) and Phase 2 (which is the remainder of the piping and the construction of the treatment plant). The SLRD has entered into a contract with Hazelwood Construction Services for the Phase 1 work; the estimated completion date for Phase 1 is December 31, 2018. 

If the community does not oppose the proposed loan of up to $700,000 (via this Alternative Approval Process), the Phase 2 work will proceed and will be undertaken by Hazelwood Construction Services.  The estimated completion date for Phase 2 is August 1, 2019.

Additional Funding

The SLRD has identified additional funding for the project:

  • the remaining reserves of $38,000 in the Sewer System’s Cost Centre (Cost Centre #2800); and
  • $91,000 of Electoral Area A’s Federal Gas Tax Agreement Community Works Funds.

Even with these additional funds, it is expected there will be a funding shortfall of up to $700,000. As such, some form of borrowing (or further cost savings/scope change) will be required to undertake the complete project.

Public Engagement

SLRD staff and the Area A Director convened a Public Information Meeting in Bralorne on Thursday, June 28, 2018 to discuss the project’s background and rationale, as well as options to address the funding shortfall.  Approximately 12 residents attended the meeting and were generally supportive of the necessity of a tax requisition increase to secure the additional funding. 

Proposed Path Forward

In order to acquire the remaining funds to complete the construction of the new wastewater treatment system in Bralorne, the SLRD Board has decided to proceed with a 30-year loan of up to $700,000, and an increase in the annual requisition limit in the service area to allow for the debt servicing on the loan.

To borrow the required funds over a 30-year term, elector approval is required.

On July 25, 2018 the SLRD forwarded the following bylaws to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval:

Loan Impact

Repayment of the Loan is to be borne by the taxable properties within the Service Area as follows:

For the portion of SLRD Electoral Area A within the Service Area (i.e. the community of Bralorne):

  • The increase in the annual parcel tax attributable to the Loan debt servicing is estimated to be $429.31. This includes the fee of 5.25% which is automatically added by the Province of British Columbia to all parcel and property taxes within electoral areas.  This annual amount will be reduced if the entire amount of the borrowing of $700,000 is not required.
  • The above Loan debt servicing amount, when added to the current parcel tax of $285.28, results in an  annual parcel tax of $714.59 (If the current maximum parcel tax of $346.22 is used in the calculation, the annual parcel tax would be $775.53).
  • The SLRD Board has made a resolution to commit $60,000 per year for 5 years (each of the years 2019 through 2022) from the Area A Northern Area BC Hydro Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Funds Reserves to the Bralorne Sewer Service cost centre for the purposes of assisting in repaying the loan associated with Bylaw No. 1595-2018 and to establish a capital/maintenance reserve for the wastewater treatment system in order to keep the amounts required to be tax requisitioned from the Bralorne community down in the short-term. The above Loan debt servicing amounts do not reflect any reductions that may arise from the use of these PILT Funds.

Alternative Approval Process (AAP)

Local governments can use an Alternative Approval Process as a way to obtain electoral approval with respect to certain types of proposed bylaws, inlcuding long-term borrowing bylaws. An AAP is less expensive than undertaking a referendum, which is a process similar to the election of a local government representative. Learn about the Alternative Approval Process for local government.

AAP- Background

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 September 5, 2018 to undertake an AAP for the following bylaws:

  • Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1595-2018 (a bylaw to authorize the borrowing of up to $700,000 over 30 years for the purpose of constructing a wastewater treatment system for the use and benefit of Bralorne in Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Electoral Area A)
  • Local Service Conversion and Establishment Bylaw No. 1594-2018 (a bylaw to amend the Bralorne Sewer System Local Service Conversion and Establishment Bylaw No. 585, 1995 to increase the maximum annual requisition amount to $70,000 per annum)

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 Pique Newsmagazine. The Notice will run the weeks of October 1 and October 8, 2018. 

After the second of two notices is advertised, eligible electors will have 30 days in which to register their formal opposition to the borrowing. The deadline for elector responses for this AAP is 4:30 p.m. on November 13, 2018.

The method by which eligible electors express their opposition to the 30-year loan is by signing and submitting an Electoral Response Form to the SLRD (before 4:30 p.m. on November 13, 2018). 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 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 Service Area. 

If 10% of eligible electors in the SLRD—8 people—oppose the SLRD Board's intention to adopt the aforementioned proposed bylaws (Bylaws No. 1594-2018 and 1595-2018), the SLRD Board cannot proceed with the 30-year loan without first holding a referendum.

If the 10% threshold is not attained, then the SLRD Board may proceed with adopting Bralorne Sewer System Local Service Conversion and Establishment Bylaw No. 585, 1995, Amendment Bylaw No. 1594-2018, and Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Bralorne Wastewater Treatment System Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1595-2018.

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

Background Information

Important Forms and Documents

Questions?

For more information about the Alternative Approval Process (AAP), 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 infrastructure project, contact:
Jeff Giffin
Director of Engineering Services
Telephone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 240
Email: jgiffin@slrd.bc.ca

Inside the SLRD > Current Projects & Initiatives > Alternative Approval Process (AAP) – Bralorne Sewer System Service Conversion and Establishment Amendment Bylaw and Loan Authorization Bylaw