Colwood decides how to split cost of treatment

Cost of buy-in for regional sewage treatment project to be shared between system users and non-users alike

It wasn’t easy, but the City of Colwood has decided how its residents will pay their share of the Capital Regional District’s new sewage treatment plant.

After public consultations and lengthy discussions, council voted to have current sewer users pay maintenance costs and for the capacity needed right now. Capacity that is being purchased for future sewer users in Colwood will be paid for by all residents.

Like other growing communities, Colwood will need to reserve capacity in the new plant beyond what it currently needs.

How the community should pay for future capacity has been a topic of debate.

Acting Colwood administrator Michael Baxter said while it was impossible to please everyone, council’s decision attempts to strike a balance.

“There’s no absolute right or wrong here,” he said. “User pay is always the best system for making people responsible (for) what they use. But who pays for the future is a really hard question, isn’t it? There are arguments to be made about why it benefits everybody to have future capacity.”

The decision addresses all sewer treatment from now on, Baxter said, whether it’s provided by the CRD, the city or a private company. The city will be revisiting just how much capacity it wants to buy into the regional treatment facility. Originally the city requested an amount based on population, but the CRD requires a request based on volume.

Baxter said he will be providing council options for the amount of volume to request, including an option to opt out of the regional treatment facility entirely and rely on privately provided sewage treatment, such as that proposed by the Capital City Centre development.

“That decision doesn’t (refer to) how we’re going to provide sewage treatment. It’s just a decision about how we will pay for it.”

While there has been both public and political outcry against the CRD’s plans for a sewage treatment plant, the project is forging ahead, with the province recently winning a debate over who will control the project.

It was recently determined that outside experts will oversee the project, not the region’s politicians.

With the sewage project still in the early stages, Baxter said, it’s hard to provide exact figures on how much current sewer users and non-sewer users will pay. He did say that non-sewer users will likely pay between 10 and 15 per cent of what sewer users will pay.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Launch party for Vancouver Island’s new soccer team a success

Over 3,000 seats will be added to Westhills Stadium in the next 6 months

View Royal Park sign taken down after glitch redirects to pornographic website

Resident looking to learn more about workout equipment discovered the problem code

Saanich pedestrian incidents reflect recent trends

76% of crashes involving pedestrians happen at intersections

Two people rescued after falling from lifeboat at Ogden Point

Crew members of the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship fell into the water Thursday night

Online blasting video helps ease Sooke residents concerns

Complaints of dust ongoing since 2017

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

Big-time racing on tap in Langford this month

Western Speedway the place to be for a roaring good time in summer

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

Zone 6: Rugby star Maggie Banks carries family legacy to BC Games

Shawnigan Lake student and Coquitlam native following her parents to the national program

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Most Read