WHITEHORSE—The Yukon government tabled amendments to the Municipal Act and Assessment and Taxation Act yesterday that extend the opportunity for municipalities to take part in the Rural Domestic Water Well Program.
“Based on the success of the program in unincorporated communities, the Yukon government is pleased to create an opportunity for incorporated municipalities to take advantage of the funding being made available to help residents drill new water wells,” Minister of Community Services Brad Cathers said.
Since 2004 the Rural Domestic Water Well Program has helped provide close to 250 property owners living in unincorporated areas with sustainable and affordable access to drinking water through domestic well development. The program helps property owners drill a new water well, or make improvements to an existing well for domestic use, and allows residents to access low-interest loans that can be paid back over to a maximum period of 15 years.
Currently, the program is only available within Yukon government’s taxation authority – meaning property owners within municipalities are not yet able to access it.
The amendments to the Municipal Act and Assessment and Taxation Act will allow people living within the boundaries of municipalities to access the program, subject to their municipality signing an agreement to recover the loan through a local improvement charge.
“We proposed options for expansion of the successful rural well program to municipalities earlier this year and are moving forward based on their input,” Cathers added. “The amendments we are bringing forward will enable the Yukon government to loan money to people living in municipalities under the Rural Well Program as long as that municipality has agreed to participate.”
The Yukon government will work with participating municipal partners to communicate and promote the program to eligible residents and is working towards making the new program available in summer 2015.
Information on the Rural Domestic Water Well Program
Bonnie Venton Ross
Communications, Community Services