Cash flow trickles into water district

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The Point Roberts water district is feeling the squeeze like other local businesses with no Canadian consumers in Point Roberts this summer.

“With the predicted water usage down this summer, will there be budget implications?” asked Rhiannon Allen at the June 9 district meeting, held virtually.

With water consumption in Point Roberts down over 50 percent since the border closure in March, and likely to shrink even more from the previous year’s numbers as the summer progresses, district manager Dan Bourks acknowledged “It’s going to be tight, but I don’t think we’ll have to go into reserves.”

The current rate structure, which charges all users a base rate regardless of their water use, shields the district from some of the financial ramifications of declining usage, Bourks said.

Bourks said the Point Roberts golf course staying closed until the border reopens and cutting irrigation back to a bare minimum will have a significant impact on revenues, Bourks said. “That alone can be a $100,000 hit.” New water connections are also down, with only four so far in 2020.

In other water district news, Whatcom County has approved a building permit for the district’s new combined shop and office adjacent to the Benson Road fire station. “Hopefully we can get going on that soon,” Bourks said. The building design was approved by the Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee as conforming to guidelines for commercial structures on the Point.

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