Newsletter for June, 2019
Summer is here and so are our worries. We have good reasons to be worried. This how we are addressing those worries:
The water dialogues at the beginning of June went very well, with over 350 people attending the 3 workshops and the attendees, as well as staff, were very happy with the respectful dialogue, the answering of questions and I believe it instilled some confidence in staff and their ability to handle the situation. Remko Rosenboom, our General Manager of Infrastructure Services, and his team were amazing and their passion and knowledge about water showed. Here are links to the SCRD youtube channel where you can watch the speech from our Chair, Lori Pratt, and the presentation from Remko. It is worth it. You can see everything that the SCRD is doing to get water into our pipes.
Nonetheless, these dialogues don’t fix our water problem. Here is a link to the water supply update we received from staff last week. Here is a link to the press release. In a nutshell, the situation is dire. Climate Change is hitting us fast and hard. We are now at Stage 3, in the hope that we can collectively get below 15000 cubic meters per day in consumption to stave off Stage 4 as long as possible. It really is up to all of us to do our best to reduce our water consumption so that we can help the food growers grow their food for as long as possible. I hope that we as a community can pull together and do our collective best. The goal is to have enough water to get us to October 15th. Staff is leaving no stones unturned, and we are looking into the possibilities of getting Grey Creek online earlier than usual (which is a challenge because we don’t have a treatment facility that can handle the higher turbidity at this time of year) and maybe even Trout Lake (which would probably cause a boil water advisory in Halfmoon Bay and West Sechelt, as we have inadequate treatment there, too) Grey Creek would give us another 10-14 days of water, depending on when it comes online, Trout Lake another 3 or so.
I also got an aerial tour of Chapman Lake, Edwards Lake, our two new potential reservoirs, C3 and C4, as well the landfill. Here are some pictures of Chapman Lake, C3 and C4, the gate controls at Chapman Lake, and our landfill.
Wildfires are a quickly growing concern. Conditions are drier than ever, and as I write this we have already had two sizeable wildfires on the Coast, one in Port Mellon and the other in Pender Harbour. 6 homes were already on evacuation alert. I was able to watch the playback of a presentation on Wildfire awareness that was organized this past month by Dave Lasser of the Sunshine Coast Community Forest, and it was very informative and created a number of action items on how I can fireproof my home. The big takeaways were to create a 10m perimeter around your home, and to remove any accumulated brush (fuel) in your undergrowth. Salish Soils and the Gibsons Greenwaste facility are the key spots to take that stuff. Especially above the highway, where we have no hydrants and no fire barrier, it is a good idea to consider metal roofing and doing some research on fireproofing your home.
Property Tax time
July 2nd is the due date for your property taxes. Be aware that you can pay your property taxes in monthly instalments. Here is a link to Donna McMahon’s website for a how-to. You can also electronically apply for your home owner’s grant.
Short Term Rentals
We had the public hearing on Short Term Rentals on June 18th, thank you to those that came and provided input. I believe we’re getting close, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet. I’m looking forward to seeing where it ultimately ends up.
I will not be available the first Saturday of this month for the Gumboot Session. I am happy to make appointments for specific times, but I will be out of town June 29 – July 8th.
In case you have any questions or concerns, you can always reach me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This newsletter will also be published to my blog at https://andreastize.com