Cost is key to Langford’s support of a Colwood-based treatment site

West Shore facility must also be eligible for same grant funding

Langford council members joined the 11th-hour push to find a more cost effective sewage treatment facility for the West Shore.

A letter from Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton, reiterating her council’s support of a Colwood-based Westside sewage treatment plant, sparked some conversation at Langford’s council meeting Tuesday night.

“You’re at the end of the day now. In two weeks or a week and a half, it’s over. They’re going with McLaughlin and we may be able to stickhandle something to get the project board to look at,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young.

He proposed that council send their own letter of support to the Capital Regional District’s sewage project board. But Young had some conditions for that support.

“Simply put, we’ll support Colwood if they actually do get a site and if they actually want to ask the CRD to do two plants,” Young said. That support came with the parameters that the treatment facility must be the most cost-effective option for Langford residents and would still be eligible for the same grant funding.

“To have Colwood after all of these years finally say, ‘hey, we’ll look at a site for sewage treatment that will benefit Langford,’ at a cost cheaper than going to the $600 per household for McLaughlin, then you have to look at it,” Young said. “It’s prudent on us as politicians to look at every option, especially when the cost is three times what was initially said.”

Coun. Lanny Seaton was quick to point out the impact that rising cost could have on taxpayers. “It could put people out of their houses,” he said. “It’s the taxpayers that have to pay for it and we should be thinking about their ability to pay … How much is left in their pocket when we’re done with them?”

Young noted business owners will also be paying a significant amount as well.

At the time of the meeting, the CRD’s special sewage project board was preparing to announce a site location on Wednesday, but Langford council members suspected the board would lean towards an option that at least included McLaughlin Point.

“The peer review in 2009 said that McLaughlin was too small of a site for the whole region. If Langford goes in on McLaughlin, they’re not building it for our future, they’re building it as a bandaid right now,” Young said. “If there’s another option before we get stuck just doing McLaughlin only … then we should always make sure we look at it.”

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