Telkwa Mayor Disappointed in Funding Announcement for Water Tower Project, but Presses On

The Mayor of Telkwa says the village isn't ready to proceed with its Trobak Hill Reservoir project, despite the announcement that it had been approved for federal and provincial infrastructure money.

Darcy Repen (pictured at right) says he thought Telkwa's capital funding request had been rolled into the province's Clean Water and Waste Water Fund, which would provide 83 per cent of the money needed for the 2.5-million dollar project.

However, he said the actual funding announcement came through the Small Communities fund, meaning Telkwa would be on the hook for a third of the cost -- or $831,000, which he says local taxpayers can't afford.

But Repen says the water tower project is essential to ensure Telkwa has a reliable water supply, and the village will continue to push Victoria to make it happen.

"We're disappointed for sure that we don't have the announcement that we need but this is a breakthrough -- they approved 1.7 million dollars worth of funding, so we're very close here; sort of the bureaucratic challenges of the administration of the grant fundings not withstanding, we see that the province supports the project, that's good -- and they're good people, we expected they're going to support us and really look at the project as a whole and recognize that this is a top-of-the-list project for us," he said.

Repen also announced he was shelving his plan to run as an independent in the upcoming B-C election, and will instead work with both Stikine New Democrat Doug Donaldson and Liberal candidate Wanda Good to make sure the project remains on the provincial radar.