Dan Bourks hangs up his tools


After dedicating 34 years to the Point Roberts water district, district manager Dan Bourks is set to retire. Originally from Nebraska, Bourks left the state in 1975, ended up moving to Alaska, before meeting his wife Sandy in northern B.C.

The couple married in 1982, and lived in Tsawwassen for three years before moving to Point Roberts in 1985. With a background in underground construction, Bourks joined the water district. Upon the previous manager’s abrupt retirement, Bourks took over as manager of the Point Roberts water district in 1994.

Reflecting on the changes during his tenure, Bourks noted an increase in regulations and highlighted the significant challenge of water main failures in the past decade.

“A lot of this stuff is going to have to be replaced,” said Bourks. Addressing infrastructure issues has become costly and funding dependent. “It’s just super expensive now. It is hard to get funding and depends on who is in office; it’s a lot of work.” Bourks expressed hope that his successor, Wes Hubbard, can tackle these challenges, particularly with the benefit of a new comprehensive plan that provides the case to secure the necessary funds.

The water district was busy this past month; during the third week in January, water pipes bursting due to freezing temperatures affected 20-40 homes in Point Roberts.

“We’re still losing water somewhere. We haven’t found them all yet.” Despite annual reminders to homeowners to winterize their homes, pipe breaks due to freezes are a yearly occurrence in Point Roberts.

“This has been going on as long as I’ve worked here,” Bourks emphasized the potential damage, with houses losing significant amounts of water daily.

While he will miss interactions with coworkers and locals, Bourks is looking forward to retirement. “I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s time to go.”

His plans include spending time with his new grandchild, traveling to visit his son in Virginia Beach, and undertaking home improvement projects.


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