Marching to abyss of sewage treatment

Re: Tax increase poor treatment. (Writer’s Block, Oct. 19)

Re: Tax increase poor treatment, (Writer’s Block, Oct. 19); “Political will on sewage treatment emerging in CRD” and “Scientists, former MP likely have facts straight” (Letters, Oct. 19)

It is both a revealing and a welcome day when a long-established, non-partisan, widely read and respected community newspaper deems it acceptable to publish three items concerning the CRD’s secondary sewage treatment plans, all of which are against it.

It is not difficult to see this event as yet another station of a newly burgeoning popular movement that seeks a way to halt (or at least delay) that destructive juggernaut that threatens the environmental and fiscal well being of the entire region.

All this renewed activity is directly attributable to the release of the long-awaited detailed wastewater engineering plan at the end of September.

The technical one is nothing short of frightening in its implications. Potential environmental dangers accompany every step of the planned construction.

The other part, concerning the financing of the project, cannot be called anything other than pie-in-the-sky.

Current estimates of construction costs ($783 million), provincial and federal contributions ($501 million), and property tax increases of between $232 and $391 per year are actually worse than that.

The contribution of at least the federal government’s share is not even close to being guaranteed, while any and all overruns will be the sole responsibility of local taxpayers. Can anyone doubt, then, that potential property tax increases will be in the neighbourhood of $500 to $700 per year – if we are lucky.

In the meantime, the powers-that-be at the CRD continue to march us lemmings toward the abyss, heedless of science and overwhelming popular opposition, and bereft even of common sense.

Each and every tax payer-elector opposed to the travesty of the current secondary sewage treatment plan must make it her or his business to apprise local, provincial, and federal politicians that their election  or re-election will depend, to a large extent, on the position they take in this matter.

Zoltan Roman

Saanich