McAllister, Ungerson win seats

St. Mary plant not yet fully online


The North Salt Spring Waterworks District board has one new face following Saturday’s trustee elections and annual general meeting.

Two board seats were up for grabs, with four candidates running for the positions. Trustee Michael McAllister was up for re-election, and board chair Marshall Heinekey had reached the end of his term and was not running for re-election.

A total of 110 ballots were cast in the election, with the most votes going to incumbent trustee McAllister at 85. The other trustee elected was Sandra Ungerson with 77 votes. Garth Hendren received 24 votes, and Bob Patterson 11.

With 2,864 eligible voters, the turnout rate was 3.84 per cent.

McAllister, a lawyer specializing in local government issues, was first elected in 2017. In answer to a question posed by the Driftwood to candidates last week, McAllister said the district’s biggest challenges were lack of capital infrastructure funding, governance and development of an island-wide plan to manage water resources.

Ungerson has experience as chair of the Conservation and Efficiency Working Group of the Salt Spring Island Watershed Protection Alliance. She is also vice-president of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association Foundation. Ungerson said she plans to look outside the box for solutions to the district’s challenges.

The board of trustees now consists of McAllister, Ungerson, Chris Dixon, Gary Gagné and Les Howell. A new chair will be selected at the board’s next meeting, scheduled for May 9.

During the AGM portion of the day, 22 ratepayers were present, as well as NSSWD staff and elected officials. Ratepayers were given an update on the district’s customer satisfaction survey, details of which are in a separate story in this week’s

paper. Ratepayers also heard an update on district finances and the progress of the St. Mary Lake water treatment plant.

District manager Ron Stepaniuk explained that the operations crew were scheduled to start feeding water into the system on Monday, which would be closely monitored to see how the plant integrates with the system.

“I can’t say the plant is fully online at this time but it’s getting there,” Stepaniuk said in an email. “Work was going on all last week.”

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