Yukon government expands loan program for water wells

Territorial government provides loans to landowners who drill wells.

Homeowners can borrow money to dig a well, repay alongside their taxes

Carmacks mayor Lee Bodie says water is the number one concern for his community (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

All of Yukon's municipalities have signed onto the territorial government's Domestic Water Well Program.

The program provides loans to people who want to drill wells on their land.

Previously only rural residents living outside municipal boundaries, qualified.

Carmacks Mayor Lee Bodie says there's a great need for new wells in his community.

"I need a well and I just don't have an extra ten thousand dollars to buy a well," he says hypothetically. "The program will allow me to get someone out there to dig a new well and the government will pay for it and then I pay it back on taxes over time." 

Loans through the program can reach $50,000. They are repaid through fees called local improvement charges, which are paid on an annual basis over a defined period of five, 10 or 15 years.

Interest is applied to the loans at a rate the government says is "based on the Bank of Canada rate at the time the application was approved."

The Yukon government says the program will help ease the long-term costs of water delivery while providing access to clean and reliable sources of drinking water.

The agreement was reached at the Association of Yukon Communities annual general meeting, which continues in Haines Junction until May 10.

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