Financial accountability and independent oversight in municipal and local government operations, is becoming more important as taxpayer dollars are being spent faster than many incomes can sustain.
Parksville and area residents may not be aware that millions of dollars are beginning to flow into the Arrowsmith Water Service’s planned water supply upgrade.
The taxpayers who are shelling out this cash have had no opportunity to evaluate any of the many options or comment on the projected $52,500,000 expenditure.
An alternative approval referendum is scheduled in 2014 after about $7 million has been spent on the consulting and the pre-construction phase.
Should the taxpayers be entitled to an independent review of the region’s water supply plans before too much money goes down the drain?
This multi-million dollar expenditure will supply a relatively small proportion of the water required by the area’s residents.
In fact it appears that this will be the first of many multi-million dollar water supply projects coming down the pipe. Low cost options that would meet health requirements include drilling wells at appropriate distance from the river, and connecting to the existing system, diverting surplus storm water and creating upstream storage.
My suggestions for consideration are on my website, www.innovationbc.com.
The decision, made by a small number of people behind closed doors, to spend significant public funds, should have provided some opportunity for public scrutiny and input.
Hopefully the incoming council members will see fit to look at other options for regional water supplies, options that would be much more efficient, and supply good water to more people at a fraction of the cost.