Colwood wants half CRD’s suggested sewage treatment capacity

Under that formula, the estimated increase to property taxes is $27 for a $400,000 property -- rather than $193

Colwood city council has decided to buy into the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) proposed new sewer treatment plant for half of the capacity originally anticipated.

On July 23, council passed a motion to request enough capacity to serve a population of 11,500 sewer users, based on a projected population growth of about two per cent per year until 2020.

The CRD had estimated Colwood to have a population growth rate of 3.65 per cent per year. Michael Baxter, Colwood’s director of engineering, has run his own numbers and believes the two per cent to be a more realistic estimate.

Under that formula, the estimated increase to property taxes is $27 for a $400,000 property. If Colwood were to buy in at the CRD’s capacity estimation the increase would be closer to $193 for the same property.

Colwood, and all other municipalities involved, must decide how much capacity in the proposed treatment plant it requires. The hitch is that Colwood, a city growing in size, must buy in now for its anticipated growth for the next 20 years.

With the two per cent guideline the population is expected to increase by just over 2,700 residents by 2020. A further 800 residents are expected to move from septic systems to sewer by that time as well.

Coun. Shari Lukens, along with Coun. Teresa Harvey, voted against the motion, saying Colwood needs more exact information on price before making a decision. The costs provided by the CRD are estimates and if the project runs over budget that will fall back onto the taxpayer’s shoulders.

“It’s going to be probably the biggest decision we as a council make in our term, and I’ve never taken out a mortgage without knowing all of my costs,” Lukens said. “I think they need to hear that Colwood’s situation is very different than any of the others … that are participating in this.”

The next step, though less urgent, is to figure out who is going to pay for the capacity.

“The people who are on sewer feel the costs should be borne by everybody and the people who are on septic feel the costs should be borne by the sewer users,” Coun. Judith Cullington said. “They are certainly very good arguments on both sides. In fact, neither of them, in my opinion, is fair. But we have to find a way of moving forward on this.”

Sometime after the summer, Colwood plans to have a transportation and infrastructure committee meeting and will be asking for a CRD member to take part to answer questions from the public.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

CRD committee proposes ending livestock payouts to farmers

The bylaw has existed since the creation of the CRD’s animal control service in 1979

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

Backyardigans, Max & Ruby stage shows add to Family Day in Sidney

Bodine Hall shows make room for kids to sing, dance, enjoy Family Day weekend

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes says municipality will re-group after Rowing Canada decision

Haynes said he is “quite disappointed” but also respects choice of North Cowichan as national centre

VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

Poster calls driving ‘dangerous, obnoxious and disrespectful’

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Most Read