The Town of Osoyoos is looking to install universal water metering at a cost of $4.7 million. (File photo)

The Town of Osoyoos is looking to install universal water metering at a cost of $4.7 million. (File photo)

Osoyoos may spend $6 million on water metering

Council will decide tonight (March 22) whether to borrow $4.7M for the project

The Town of Osoyoos is looking to borrow up to $4.7 million to install water meters across the community.

Council will decide at their 7 p.m. meeting tonight (March 22) whether to go forward with the staff recommendation to begin the process.

The plan recommends installing indoor meters for the bulk of the town’s water users, with multi-family developments getting bulk meters at the property lines where appropriate.

Town staff have identified plans to include the costs for the project into the 2023 and 2024 financial plans, for $1.3 million and $2.6 million respectively. The combined costs, plus additional variance and a buffer for inflation and supply chain impacts were combined into the estimated capital costs of $4.7 million for the project.

If the plan is approved by council, the town would go to the elector approval process to borrow the money in either the third or fourth quarter of 2022.

If council decides against the $4.7 million project, the plan would be revisited, according to the staff report.

With interest, and assuming a 20-year term on the borrowing, the financial cost could be an estimated $6 million.

If the project is approved, getting a contract and supplies would begin in 2023, with the actual installation to begin in the second or third quarter of 2023 and finish by the end of 2025.

READ MORE: Osoyoos awards $77,000 contract for universal water metering planning

The universal water metering would allow the town to implement a user rate structure that is based on volume instead of a fixed fee and allow for quarterly or monthly billing as well.

In addition to the $4.7 million in borrowing to cover the capital costs of installing the water meter system, according to the report to council there will be an additional $50,000 a year in operation and maintenance costs for the system.

If the project is not approved, according to the staff report, the town runs the risk of losing out on potential government grants, and there would be another $110,000 a year in extra costs for additional staff for the existing water system.

In 2020, council awarded a contract to devise a plan for universal water metering to TR Underwood Engineering for $77,000. A revised plan following the rejection would cost another estimated $65,000.

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