Assent Voting (Referendum) - Bralorne Wastewater Treatment System

For more information about the Assent Voting Process, 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:
Ed Witwicki
Senior Engineering Technologist
Telephone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 227
Email: ewitwicki@slrd.bc.ca

Dec 19, 2018
Electoral Area A

Assent Vote

On January 26, 2019 there will be an asset vote in respect of the Bralorne Wastewater Treatment System.

Qualified electors of the Bralorne Sewer Service Area will be voting on the following question:

Are you in favour of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District adopting the following proposed bylaws:

1. Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Bralorne Wastewater Treatment System Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1595-2018, which will permit the borrowing of up to $700,000 for the purpose of completing the construction of the new wastewater treatment system in the Bralorne Sewer Service Area (the associated estimated annual debt servicing costs will be $38,750 and recovered via tax requisition as set out below); and

2. Bralorne Sewer System Local Service Conversion and Establishment Bylaw No. 585, 1995, Amendment Bylaw No. 1594-2018, which will permit an increase of $38,750 to the maximum annual tax requisition amount, which is estimated to be $429.31 per parcel (and is in addition to the existing maximum annual tax requisition of $346.22 per parcel resulting in a total annual estimated tax requisition of $775.53 per parcel.)

The intent of the proposed bylaws is to:

  • Borrow up to $700,000 which is required to complete the construction of the new wastewater treatment system in the Bralorne Sewer Service Area, with annual debt servicing costs estimated to be $38,750; and
  • Increase the maximum annual tax requisition amount by $38,750 so that the annual debt servicing costs associated with such borrowing can be requisitioned.

The Bralorne Sewer Service Area as identified in the map below.

Background

The Interior Health Authority, the Ministry of Environment and SLRD staff have identified the Bralorne Sewer System upgrade as critical to the long-term health and sustainability of the Bralorne community. The Bralorne Sewer System Upgrade Project aims for a 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.

Given the small size of the tax base, it has been beyond the ability of the Bralorne Sewer Service Area to contemplate financing the complete project. As a result, the SLRD secured funding from a variety of sources, including:

  • Gas Tax Grant in the amount of $1,999,530 (Original expiry date December 2018, extension to December, 2019);
  • 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.

Despite this funding and efforts by the SLRD to reduce the cost, the funding for the project has a shortfall of up to $700,000 due to skyrocketing construction costs. 

Proposed Path Forward

In order to complete both phases of the project, it is necessary to secure a long term loan of up to $700,000 (Bylaw No. 1595-2018) and to increase the maximum requisition amount (Amendment Bylaw No. 1594-2018) in order to requisition for the associated borrowing costs.

The SLRD has entered into a contract with Hazelwood Construction Services for the Phase 1 work with a completion date of December 31, 2018. The SLRD has an agreement with Hazelwood Construction Services to complete Phase 2 by August 1, 2019 whereby the initiation of the Phase 2 work is dependent upon the SLRD obtaining the required elector approval in respect of the loan and the commensurate increase to the maximum tax requisition amount, with the deadline for providing such notice to the contractor being February 15, 2019. 

Elector Approval via Assent Vote

Approval of electors in the Bralorne Sewer Service Area is required to move ahead with a long term loan of up to $700,000 over a 30-year term.

The SLRD carried out an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) seeking to obtain elector approval of a loan of up to $700,000 and the associated increase to the maximum annual tax requisition to service such loan.  The deadline to receive elector responses was November 13, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.

The AAP has failed, as more than 10% of the estimated electors were opposed to the SLRD’s intention to adopt a new loan authorization bylaw (for the loan of up to $700,000) and a bylaw amendment to increase the maximum annual tax requisition to service such loan. 

If the SLRD wishes to be able to consider the adoption of the proposed bylaws, it is necessary to first obtain elector approval via an assent vote (i.e. referendum). Elector approval will be obtained if a majority of the votes cast are in favour of the proposed bylaws.

At the November 28, 2018 SLRD Board meeting, the Board authorized elector approval to be carried out via an assent vote. This assent vote will take place on Saturday January 26, 2019 with 2 advance voting opportunities on January 16 and January 21. 

Assent Vote Question and Loan Impact

Details of the estimated impact of the long term loan are included in the assent vote question, as follows:

Are you in favour of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District adopting the following proposed bylaws:

1. Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Bralorne Wastewater Treatment System Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 1595-2018, which will permit the borrowing of up to $700,000 for the purpose of completing the construction of the new wastewater treatment system in the Bralorne Sewer Service Area (the associated estimated annual debt servicing costs will be $38,750 and recovered via tax requisition as set out below); and

2. Bralorne Sewer System Local Service Conversion and Establishment Bylaw No. 585, 1995, Amendment Bylaw No. 1594-2018, which will permit an increase of $38,750 to the maximum annual tax requisition amount, which is estimated to be $429.31 per parcel (and is in addition to the existing maximum annual tax requisition of $346.22 per parcel resulting in a total annual estimated tax requisition of $775.53 per parcel.)

The SLRD Board has committed $60,000 in 2019 from Area A Northern Area BC Hydro Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds to be put towards debt servicing costs noted above with the intention of $60,000 being committed for an additional 4 years as per the Board’s resolution.  

Assent Voting Dates, Times and Places

VOTING DAYDATEPLACEVOTING HOURS

Advance #1

January 16, 2019

Gold Bridge Community Club

699 Gun Lake Road, Gold Bridge, B.C.

8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Advance #2January 21, 2019

Pemberton & District Community Centre

7390 Cottonwood Street, Pemberton, B.C.

8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
General Voting DayJanuary 26, 2019

Gold Bridge Community Club

699 Gun Lake Road, Gold Bridge, B.C.

8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Scrutineer Applications

Scrutineers for and against the question must be appointed if applications are received from persons who wish to volunteer for the positions. Only persons entitled to vote as electors on the question shown above are entitled to act as scrutineers.

If sufficient applications are received, one scrutineer for and one scrutineer against the question will be appointed for each voting place. One scrutineer for the question and one scrutineer against the question will also be appointed to be present at the determination of the official results and, if necessary, at a judicial recount.

Applications to act as a scrutineer will be received by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) Chief Election Officer during the period of Wednesday January 2, 2019 to Friday January 11, 2019 in any of the following ways:

  • In person at the SLRD office (1350 Aster Street, Pemberton, BC) during regular office hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M-F);
  • By mail to the SLRD office (Box 219, Pemberton, BC V0N 2L0);
  • By email to the SLRD Chief Election Officer (kclark@slrd.bc.ca).

Application forms will be available at the SLRD office or by downloading:

Assent Voting Requirements

There is no need to pre-register to vote; registration of all electors for this election will take place at time of voting.

You are eligible to vote as a resident elector if you are:

  • 18 years of age or older;
  • A Canadian citizen;
  • A resident of BC for at least 6 months immediately preceding voting day;
  • A resident in the Bralorne Sewer Service Area for at least 30 days immediately preceding voting day; and
  • Not otherwise disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election.

You do not need to own property to vote as a resident elector. Resident electors must produce two pieces of identification (at least one with a signature). Picture identification is not necessary. The identification must prove both residency and identity.

You are eligible to vote as a non-resident property elector if you are:

  • 18 years of age or older;
  • A Canadian citizen;
  • A resident of BC for at least 6 months immediately preceding voting day;
  • The registered owner of real property in the Bralorne Sewer Service Area for at least 30 days immediately preceding voting day; and
  • Not otherwise disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, or by law from voting in a local election.

Non-resident property electors must produce two pieces of identification (at least one with a signature) to prove identity, provide proof that they are entitled to register in relation to the property (recent Land Title certificate, property tax bill or property assessment notice), and, if there is more than one owner, provide written consent from a majority of the property owners to one owner voting. (Please contact the SLRD ahead of time for the required consent form - it must be signed by a majority of the property owners.  Unsigned or incomplete consent forms will not be accepted.) No one can vote in respect of property that is owned (in whole or in part) by a corporation.

Proof of Identity

You must bring at least two documents that prove who you are (BC Driver's Licence, BC ID, Care Card, SIN card, Citizenship Card, bank credit or debit card) and where you live (Driver’s License, telephone, hydro, or gas bill, property tax document); one of these documents must contain your signature. The acceptable classes of documents that election officials may accept as evidence to identify electors are established by the Province in Local Government Elections Regulation 380/93, Section 3. Click here to view these regulations.

Assistance with Voting and Curb Side Voting

If you are unable to mark, read or translate your ballot, an election official, friend or relative may assist you, after making a solemn declaration to not influence you and to keep your vote secret.

If you can travel to the voting place, but find it difficult to get into the building, you may request 'curb side' voting and election officials will bring your ballot to you! Send someone into the Voting Place, or call 604-698-6158 in advance, to request 'curb side voting' when you arrive to vote. 

Mail Ballot Voting

Mail ballot voting will be available to electors who meet the criteria.

Who is eligible to vote by mail ballot?

You are eligible to vote by mail if you are a qualified elector and:

  • Have a physical disability, illness or injury that affects your ability to vote at another voting opportunity, OR
  • Expect to be absent from the SLRD on general voting day and at the times of all advance voting opportunities.

How to Request a Mail Ballot Package

Up until 4:00 p.m. on Thursday January 24, 2019, you can request a mail ballot package by submitting the following information to the SLRD office by mail (Box 219, 1350 Aster Street, Pemberton, BC V0N 2L0), by fax (604-894-6526) or by email (kclark@slrd.bc.ca):

  • Full name;
  • Residential address;
  • Address of the property in relation to which you are voting (for non-resident property electors);
  • Method of delivery of your mail ballot package (your choice of the following):

1. Pick up at the SLRD office (1350 Aster Street in Pemberton), OR

2. Regular lettermail service through Canada Post to your residential address, OR

3. Regular lettermail service through Canada Post to an alternate address that you provide when requesting the ballot package, and

To ensure you receive the correct registration application form in your package, you must indicate whether you are going to be registering as a resident elector or non-resident property elector.

The SLRD will send out mail ballot packages by regular lettermail service (or have them ready for pick up at the SLRD office in Pemberton) starting on Wednesday January 9, 2019 and ending at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday January 24, 2019.

To be counted, your completed mail ballot must be received by the Chief Election Officer no later than 8:00 p.m. on Saturday January 26, 2019.

It is your responsibility to ensure your completed mail ballot arrives back to the Chief Election Officer on or before the deadline. Please read the Mail Ballot Instructions carefully, as they contain important information for you to consider when choosing how and where to return your mail ballot.

It is also your responsibility to be aware of any developments that may occur in respect of a potential strike by Canada Post workers insofar as this could impact your ability to receive or return your mail ballot package by the stated deadlines.

If voting as a Non-Resident Property Elector, you must provide evidence of ownership (i.e. recent Land Title Office Certificate, property tax bill or property assessment notice) and a Consent Form signed by a majority of the owners of the property. 

Important Forms and Documents

Questions?

For more information about the Assent Voting Process, 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:

Ed Witwicki
Senior Engineering Technologist
Telephone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 227
Email: ewitwicki@slrd.bc.ca

Inside the SLRD > Current Projects & Initiatives > Assent Voting (Referendum) - Bralorne Wastewater Treatment System