Westside residents impacted by White Rock Lake wildfire receive relief on utility bills

Utility relief in fire's wake

Westside residents impacted by the White Rock Lake wildfire will see some relief on their utility bills.

Residents on the Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates and Upper Fintry, Shalal Road, Valley of the Sun water systems won't have to pay the basic user and consumption fees portion of utility bills from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30.

In addition, the Regional District of Central Okanagan has waived fees for demolition and temporary building permits for those affected by the fire.

The board also approved extending the temporary building permit use of a recreational vehicle as temporary dwelling to two years from one, on a property that is actively under post-wildfire construction.

The devastating fire significantly damaged or destroyed 79 structures and impacted more the 1,300 properties in the North Westside.

The cost to district would be more than $80,000.

Meanwhile, efforts to bring the water systems back into full operation are nearing completion, the RDCO says. The impact of the additional costs is still being assessed.

A Community Recovery Plan for the area has set out objectives including adapting to climate change and future natural disasters.

Steve Schell has been contracted as community recovery manager and brings 30-plus years of emergency management experience with the provincial government to position.

The recovery team's objectives include:

  • Protect public safety
  • Foster and improve health and wellness and support housing recovery
  • Deliver permanent solutions
  • Facilitate economic revitalization
  • Facilitate environmental resilience and adaptation
  • Engage community and stakeholders
  • Ensure equitable, fair and reasonable decisions

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