The Swan Lake area north of Vernon along Highway 97 is one step closer to getting a sewer system after property owners in the area approved a plan to borrow $5.2 million for the project.
Despite being heavily developed, the area doesn’t have a community sewer system.
Instead, homes and businesses have septic systems or holding tanks, which must be pumped out. The process can be costly, noisy and sometimes smelly.
However, the project to install the sewer system is expected to cost $36.9 million, with $5.2 million coming from loans taken out by the Regional District of North Okanagan.
If the project goes ahead, that 20-year loan will be paid off by residents and businesses in the regional district that use the sewer.
Many who own property in the area agree that the benefit of having a sewer system is worth the cost.
The project, which has already been years in the making, has passed a major hurdle by getting the required support for the loan from more than half of the property owners in the area.
The regional district said that owners of 63 per cent of the land parcels signed a petition in support of the loan. Together, those supportive owners represent 78 per cent of the area’s tax base.
The regional district said it had “received petitions from around the world as multiple property owners in the service area sent in their support despite being out of the country.”
The project will not go ahead unless it also successfully qualifies for federal and provincial grants totalling $24.3 million.
The regional district will not borrow the money if it doesn’t get the grants for the project.
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