On March 31, the French Creek Residents’ Association (FCRA) initiated a survey, seeking consensus on pursuing a purchase of Epcor French Creek by the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) on behalf of French Creek property owners.
Epcor is a for-profit private utility owned by the City of Edmonton. Our website www.frenchcreekresidents.ca has a survey link with a benefit summary, accompanied by background information.
Water rate increases have been excessive and amount to over 33 per cent in the current three-year period. Comments have been made that profit and interest being charged has not been clearly defined, that value of the system and depreciation have not been taken into account and grant funds are tax dollars and should not count. Also that there is no recognition of “significant” present and future liabilities. This is not accurate, nor is existing water quality an issue.
• Profit and interest costs are clearly stated in the rate application as required by the comptroller. FCRA has indicated these figures in our information documents.
• A future valuation of the system working towards a purchase would be based on the physical integrity of all infrastructure at that time. Depreciation is just an accounting term; evaluation takes into account the physical age and condition of the asset including deficiencies.
• According to a master plan engineering report prepared in 2014 by Kerr Wood Leidal, available on the Epcor website, there are no significant present and future liabilities of any sort.
• Grant funds are tax dollars allocated by provincial and federal governments for use in supporting public projects across this country. Does this source of funds mean we should ignore applying for available money in the future?
FCRA is committed to facilitating this survey and from a property owner standpoint, purchase of this water utility by the RDN is in the best interests of everyone who is presently a customer of Epcor French Creek.
Rob Williams, FCRA vice-presidentFrench Creek