The Cache Creek Emergency Operations Centre, pictured here in April 2020, is not active at this time, but previous volunteers have all been contacted in case it is needed. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Cache Creek moving ahead with new well on current aquifer

Council also heard that the pool is being maintained, even though it is not open this season

Notes from the Cache Creek council meeting of July 5.

Bylaw enforcement officer

Coun. Sue Peters provided an update on the joint bylaw enforcement officer, saying that someone has been hired for the position and a contract has been drawn up. The biggest hold-up at the moment is finding a place for the bylaw officer to live, but it’s hoped that the contract will take effect no later than Aug. 15. The village is updating its ticketing bylaw, and hopes to have a draft available for the Aug. 3 meeting.

Well site plans

A motion directing staff to prepare a report about site plans for all current and future wells was discussed. Chief Financial Officer and Acting CAO Cristina Martini said that the village currently has two well sites (wells 6 and 7), and drilling on well 9 was supposed to start on July 5 but had been pushed back because of the heatwave.

She noted that when well 9 is completed, well 6 will be decommissioned. The new well 9 will feed from the same aquifer as the two existing wells; there is also a project application in place for another well (well 8). “We are searching for another aquifer, so that project is pending.”

Peters clarified that the Stage 4 water restrictions recently put in place by the village were not because of lack of supply, but because people were using more water in the excessive heat. Martini said that was correct: “The pumps could not bring enough water because consumption was much higher than the capacity to fill the reservoir.”

Coun. Wendy Coomber asked if the village had a plan to determine when it would go to Stage 4 from no restrictions at all. Martini replied that when reservoirs drop under 70 per cent capacity the village should probably look at Stage 4.

“Because of the heat, the consumption was so high that the reservoirs dropped below 50 per cent capacity and wouldn’t allow the village to be able to fight a fire if needed.” She added irrigation was taking more water than they could pump to fill the reservoirs. Martini also confirmed that when to go to Stage 4 would be covered under the village’s Emergency Plan.

Mayor Santo Talarico said he felt there should be a default in policy where the public works foreman could decide when to go to Stage 4 restrictions. “There are too many different aspects to why we should go to Stage 4 restrictions that in a policy we could never cover them all. When we say Stage 4 there’s a serious problem. That should come from the water treatment plant operator.

“As far as the well location and plan, perhaps after we get the location drilled and well 9 operational, the company providing that service to us can document that for us.”

After further discussion, in which it was confirmed that the subject of the motion would come about naturally as part of asset management and be available to the public in those plans, and there was therefore no need for staff to prepare a report at this time, the motion was passed anyway.

Swimming pool

Council received for information the news that all regular maintenance is continuing to be done at the Cache Creek pool.

Love Cache Creek

Peters confirmed that the “Love” project from Northern Development Initiative Trust — which Cache Creek council had previously voted to join — had been put on hold because of COVID-19 and photographers’ inability to travel to take pictures of participating businesses, but would soon be back on track.

Emergency plans

Peters said the Cache Creek Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is not active, but emails have been sent to all who have been active in it before to see if they are still interested. She stressed that although Cache Creek is not under threat at this time, everyone needs to be prepared. The village is working on a plan in case people need to evacuate; in that case, the EOC would be located outside the village.

All minutes and agendas for Cache Creek council meetings can be found on the Village’s website at Meetings normally take place on the first and third Mondays of each month, and begin at 6 p.m. Due to the B.C. Day statutory holiday, the next regular meeting will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 3.

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