There has been some progress in the power picture and our course of action is becoming clearer. We are currently in the process of having an assessment done by a power development company so that our options for distribution can be made. The assessment will provide:
(a) the cost of distribution with overhead lines;
(b) the cost of a distribution with overhead and underground lines.
There are advantages and disadvantages to either system and lot owners will have to choose one or the other in the near future.
The overhead system would entail much tree removal for right-of-ways. The lines are still subject to damage and are visible. This system could be cheaper and tree removal would reduce the wild fire hazard.
The underground system is costly as it is dug into the right of way, and then cable ducts are laid to kiosks. Each kiosk will serve 4 or 5 dwellings. This could prove quite costly, as the conduits must cross over the water lines. The advantages are safety from trees and branches, minimal clearing, servicing, and visibly attractive. BC Hydro favours the underground system as it means drastically reduced service call outs.
The cost of the power line extension has been estimated at $400,000. Some of this cost could be shared with Cloudworks Energy. Hopefully, the remainder would be covered by BC Hydro’s Uneconomic Extension Program.
This means that the distribution within District Lot 4901 would be LLE’s responsibility. The costs of the construction would be borne equally by the projected 172 lots that would access the power. This would enable lot owners more choice in how to pay for the costs of the project. Again, there are several choices:
(a) we could finance the cost of the distribution and operate as a utility; or
(b) we could finance the cost of installing the service and BC Hydro would buy it back from us over a period of years, or
(c) it may be possible for LLE to borrow the money to finance the service.
Until the distribution survey is complete and construction costs determined, we can only speculate on what each owner’s share will be. We do know that power will increase the value of each lot, that this will provide the solution to a year round water supply, that more lot owners will choose to live full time at Lillooet Lake, and that safety from burglaries will be cheaper and easier to obtain.
There is no question that reliable electricity will improve conditions at LLE. The transition from a remote recreational escape to a permanent lakeside residential village is happening, whether we like it or not, and that is a fact. It is our aim to make this transition as tasteful and economic as is possible. It is hoped to have the construction cost estimates for the AGM in March.