PORT HARDY—Councillors voted to end the District’s agreement with EPCOR last week.
The motion, that “The council authorizes the mayor and Chief Administrative Officer to execute the termination agreement with EPCOR as amended,” gave the go-ahead to sever the contract with the company, which provides water management services to the town.
“EPCOR has been very good for the community,” said the mayor. She recalled the occasional “brown ice cubes” that reflected the quality of water in the town before the company took over the stewardship of the system.
She explained that, in the course of reviewing its business relationships, the District had concluded that water standards were now at a level where it felt comfortable resuming control of the system’s operation and maintenance.
The mayor noted that when EPCOR began operations in the town its employees were drawn from Public Works staff. This arrangement had left the department somewhat stretched, she said. Now that the relationship between the town and the company is coming to an end, the current EPCOR employees have been offered positions at Public Works.
“There’s been ongoing discussions looking at taking back the water and sewer services from Epcor and doing any upgrades in-house,” said Director of Corporate Services Jeff Long. “They’ve done a great job for us, but we feel that it’s in the best interest of the taxpayers.”
The District expects the transition to take place on September 30.
Councillors repealed Motion #2013-118, passed at the previous meeting, and carried an amended motion in its stead.
The motion, to reappoint two members of the Community Consultative Committee for additional one-year terms was repealed after consideration was given to the length of terms.
The council agreed to appoint the members on two-year terms to maintain the committees policy of overlapping terms.
In response to correspondence from Mary Ellen Waring, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association, Port hardy Council agreed to proclaim the week of September 24 as Aquaculture Awareness Week.
This coincides with the association’s AGM, taking place this year in Port Hardy, September 25 and 26.