The Resort Municipality of Whistler is pleased to announce it is seeking to acquire the Vanwest Water Utility. The Vanwest Water Utility is a utility that provides potable water and fire protection to Function Junction.
On December 13, 2016 the Province, (Deputy Comptroller of Water Rights, Water Utilities Act), took over the management of Vanwest Water Utility (“the Utility”). Since that time, the RMOW has been overseeing the operations and maintenance of the system for the Province.
Upon the transfer of ownership, the RMOW will be able to provide Function Junction with consistent, high-quality drinking water. The municipality will also continue to ensure there is always ample water capacity in the area for firefighting.
Upon completion of the purchase and transfer, the RMOW will incorporate the assets and the customers of the Vanwest Water Utility into the Municipal Waterworks Utility.
For additional information, see below for Frequently Asked Questions or contact the RMOW Engineering Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-935-8190.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the changes resulting from the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) ownership of the Vanwest Water Utility?
There are many benefits to RMOW ownership of the Vanwest Water Utility:
Improved accountability and long-term water supply planning. With RMOW ownership, elected officials are now the ones responsible for the operation of the water system. If you have questions or concerns, you can contact RMOW staff. In addition, the RMOW has a long-term water supply plan to ensure you will always have access to high-quality drinking water.
Customer service changes. In the past, RMOW had to forward inquiries about water in Function Junction to the private operator. With RMOW ownership, inquiries can be answered directly by the same organization servicing water for the rest of the community. The RMOW has a staff of utility operators trained to the standards set by the Environmental Operators Certificate Program. RMOW staff are available for emergency call-out services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Water for firefighting. Once the system is formally connected to the Municipal Waterworks Utility, the volume of water for fighting fires in Function Junction will be secured. This will add to the ability of Whistler Fire Rescue Services to combat fires in the area.
Consistent water quality. All water to Function Junction has been supplied by the RMOW since 2009, therefore you will not experience any changes to your water supply. Upon the acquisition of the Vanwest Water Utility by RMOW, the quality of the water will be held to the same high standards as the rest of the community. In addition, Vancouver Coastal Health requires all municipal water systems to meet minimum water quality testing requirements noted in the Permit to operate a water system.
Controlled rate increases. More rigid water quality legislation is expected to be enacted by the Provincial Government. Once the RMOW acquires the Vanwest Water Utility, the water will be serviced from the same water treatment facilities as the rest of the community. Cost of any future upgrade will be spread across the entire municipality and covered by the municipal reserves.
2. What parts of the Vanwest Water Utility will be purchased?
The RMOW will be purchasing Vanwest’s piping and hydrants within public roadways and several Statutory Rights of Ways.
3. What will my strata corporation be expected to own and maintain?
Similar to before, stratas will still be expected to maintain all of their pipes and hydrants. This is infrastructure located within the strata’s common property and private roads.
4. What is the financial impact?
There are three RMOW bylaws that impact charges related to water utilities.
Water User Fee Bylaw 2115. The records received from Vanwest Water Utility indicate an increase of 17 to 22 per cent in user fees can be expected for most properties. This increase will place Function Junction businesses and residents in alignment with the rest of the Whistler community. For example, commercial rates will increase from $0.34 per square foot to $0.41 per square foot and restaurants will increase from $0.81 per square foot to $0.98 per square foot. The RMOW will undertake an audit of Function Junction properties in 2019 to ensure historical billing has been accurately calculated and if required make necessary revisions moving forward. Your rate change will be reflected in the 2019 billing period.
Water Tax Bylaw 2192. All addresses within 100 metres of the Municipal Waterworks Utility are required to pay an annual water parcel tax of $276.59.
Water Works and Services Bylaw 1503. There is also a one-time service charge that will only be applied when properties apply for a significant Building Permit or the subdivision of land.