Water connections 75 per cent based on early registrations

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SANDRA M STANWAY
Brooks Bulletin

Three-quarters of the county’s residents who registered in the regional water program in 2011 have connected to the system.
Mark Harbicht, the county’s director of municipal services, told council on Thursday the numbers are based on the program’s 1,556 registered properties.
Reeve Molly Douglass said the numbers were put on the record in response to an ad in the The Bulletin from the county residents against amalgamation questioning the totals.
The ad states county staff and councillors say 75 per cent of the 2,627 county residences or dwellings are hooked to the $50-plus million dollar regional water.
“We think this is false and could they prove these numbers?” the July 16 ad states.
Mark Harbicht, the county’s director of municipal services, told council 75 per cent is based on the original registration number of 1,556 out of 2,627 residences or dwellings.
“Not all 2,600 residential points have water. They have not registered for it nor have they come to us to take it on themselves,” said Harbicht.
He said there are currently 1,171 dwellings that receive water. The other 385 are inactive although they do have a curb stop to their property.
Over the years there have been additional hookups, including a couple in July, although the 75 per cent has not changed.
“We need to see about 10 new activations per month to see a percentage change. That’s why we’ve been stuck there for such a long period,” he said.
Harbicht said it would cost about $18,000 for someone to connect to the system, including $7,000 for registration, $700 for the future water licence and about $10,000 for the actual construction.
“I’ve heard through the realtor grapevine the places that have connected to the rural water system are valued at anywhere between $20,000 to $50,000 more than places that are not,” he said.