Balfour residents have voted overwhelmingly in favour of paying for their share of upgrading the water system.

Today’s referendum passed by a vote of 153 to 21 with a turnout of 50 per cent.

That means the Regional District of Central Kootenay will now borrow $583,000 towards the project.

Senior levels of government will pay the other 83 per cent of the $3.4 million project.

Regional district director Ramona Faust is pleased but not surprised with the┬áreferendum’s outcome.

She always thought it would pass.

The referendum was called after a counterpetition scuttled plans to borrow the local share.

The number of people who voted against the project in the referendum was less than half the 45 property owners who signed the counterpetition.

Faust says some people may have changed their minds.

Some of the opposition came from the inclusion of water meters in the project. But the RDCK said the grant likely would not have been approved otherwise.

Balfour’s water is drawn from Kootenay Lake and pumped into a reservoir, which will now be replaced.