A rainbow appears over O’Keefe Ranch following a Sept. 26 rainfall. (Susan Cseh photo)

A rainbow appears over O’Keefe Ranch following a Sept. 26 rainfall. (Susan Cseh photo)

Water, permit fee relief for Westside residents following wildfire

Central Okanagan Regional District gives a break to more than 1,300 properties affected

Relief is coming for some of the 1,300 North Westside properties impacted by the White Rock Lake wildfire.

Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates and Upper Fintry, Shalal Road and Valley of the Sun water customers do not have to pay the basic user and consumption fees portion of utility bills from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30.

“At the time the order was lifted residents were away from their homes for more than five weeks,” Regional District of Central Okanagan engineering services director David Komaike said in a report.

In addition, the Regional District of Central Okanagan has approved waiving fees for demolition and temporary building permits for residents affected by the fire. It 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 district is now on a wildfire recovery plan with a contracted community recovery manager working to achieve short, medium and long-term goals.

“On Aug. 15, 2021, the White Rock Lake wildfire aggressively destroyed or damaged homes and some or all their respective outbuildings,” CAO Brian Reardon said in a report. “The Regional District of Central Okanagan, as the local government authority of jurisdiction, has obligations under the Emergency Program Act of BC to develop a recovery plan for its impacted residents.”

The devastating blaze damaged or destroyed 78 structures and impacted more than 1,300 properties in the North Westside.

“Many will face significant emotional and financial burdens from the event,” Komaike said.

The loss in revenues for the RDCO would be more than $90,000 from Killiney, Westshore and Fintry. These systems also experienced significant increase in operating expenses due to the wildfires as they assisted firefighting efforts.

North Westside residents will also have a longer window of opportunity to dispose of trash this fall. The bulky item collection event takes place Oct. 6-20 at the North Westside Road Transfer Station, for $20 per truckload. The event has been extended a week to help residents in recovery after the fire.

READ MORE: $3.9M in vouchers issued to White Rock Lake wildfire evacuees in Vernon

READ MORE: White Rock Lake wildfire damages an estimated $77M: Insurance Bureau of Canada


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B.C. Wildfires 2021Water