Kaleden residents are set to decide in June if they want to borrow $4 million to hook up to the Okanagan Falls sewage treatment plant.
Only property owners who would be served by the new line will be asked to vote in a referendum on the $10-million project. A grant from senior governments would cover $6 million, while Kaleden residents in the service area would handle the rest through a through a $1,500 annual parcel tax.
The referendum was approved Thursday by the board of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.
The service area would only cover homes in the lower portion of Kaleden closest to Skaha Lake. The pipe would extend approximately two kilometres to Okanagan Falls.
Predesign for the Kaleden extension began in 2019 and will be completed by the end of the month with open houses and newsletters in the works.
Information is expected to reach the public by April, with the referendum tentatively set for June 20, 2020.
Hooking up to the Okanagan Falls plant would have environmental benefits by reducing the community’s reliance on septic systems.
“Current septic systems can have potential detrimental impacts upon the Okanagan watershed including increasing nutrients and pathogens entering the lake leading to possible algae blooms, biological contamination, potable water concerns, and impacts upon recreational uses,” RDOS engineering manager Liisa Bloomfield wrote in her report to the board.
“Without the elimination of the existing septic system, these impacts may increase in the future.”