Colwood homeowners’ sewage cost numbers still rough: Hamilton

Mayor says lower figure still not equitable for taxpayers who aren’t on sewer system

Many homeowners would celebrate the possibility of seeing an annual tax dropped from an estimated $741 to $274 a year.

Both relate to Colwood homeowners’ estimated cost in 2030 for a sewage treatment system. The higher figure was floated some months ago by the Capital Regional District. It was for a system that would include a main plant at Rock Bay and a tertiary plant in Colwood.

The Colwood plant would only handle City flows and be paid for entirely by Colwood taxpayers. It would also have required the City to build in redundancies, such as a separate outfall.

The $274 number provided by the CRD is for a two-plant system that would include one facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt and another at Victoria’s Clover Point. For the time being, that plan puts Colwood back into a situation where it is sharing a proportionate cost of a regional system.

The updated number shifted the City’s taxpayers from the top of the heap among fellow municipal householders to the bottom.

With no treatment plant locations nailed down and the costs still a long way from being determined, this numbers game still isn’t playing out happily for Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton.

“I find these numbers frustrating at the very best of times,” she said. “We don’t have a site, we don’t have technology …”

Acknowledging that the $741 figure “scared the pants off me,” and many other city residents – especially those not hooked up to sewer lines – Hamilton said a more accurate figure under the original scenario would have been about $350. However, she and City engineering staff are still trying to figure out a way to make the cost of dealing with sewage more equitable for all Colwood taxpayers, including those who may never be on sewer.

Despite the lower number, Hamilton isn’t celebrating. She’d rather see the CRD put the shared cost of construction and operations of whatever sewage treatment system is put in place as a separate line item on people’s bills.

“If Oak Bay’s big number is to assist with (fixing) leaky pipes, let’s take that out of the picture. Then at least it’s transparent and again it feeds into the communication to the public that we’re out to find a solution.”

The new 2030 estimates, which are based on municipalities’ current and projected future sewage capacity, see Oak Bay homeowners paying the most at $624. That is followed by Victoria ($546), Esquimalt ($514), View Royal ($464), Langford ($447) and Saanich ($404).

Just Posted

Westhills Stadium launches expanded stadium with ceremony, excitement

expanded stadium accommodates 6,000 spectators

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

Sooke school district creates new comprehensive school health position

Ruchi McArthur will develop framework to improve wellness of students

B.C. police watchdog investigating high-speed crash in Victoria

Police watchdog called in after dramatic early morning crash at Bay and Douglas intersection

NCAA basketball comes to UVic this fall

Eight-team tournament features top university women’s basketball teams Nov. 28-30

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read