CRD assured work is on track for sewage treatment business case

The project board responsible for overseeing the sewage treatment plant will be establishing an oversight committee.

 

The project board responsible for overseeing the projected billion-dollar sewage treatment plant to serve Greater Victoria will be establishing another oversight committee.

Earlier this week, the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project Board, responsible for developing a business case and choosing a site for the wastewater treatment plant, presented an update to the Capital Regional District (CRD) board. So far, the province-appointed board has met three times since its inception in May.

Project board chair Jane Bird reassured CRD directors that work is underway and on track to deliver a program recommendation and business case for the CRD’s consideration by Sept. 30.

“We’re well underway with our work. It is a significant amount of material to review. We are reviewing all the technical work in conjunction with all the work that has been done,” Bird said. “We’re reviewing each and every piece of that to try and understand the values that your constituents have expressed.”

The project board also hopes to establish a due diligence committee that reports to the CRD to oversee the process.

The due diligence committee, which will be appointed by the project board, will likely be comprised of three individuals who have experience with the development and delivery of large programs and wastewater treatment. However, some directors expressed concern with creating yet another committee.

CRD director and Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell said it’s useful to have an outside set of eyes but expressed concern about the short timeline the board has to hear from both entities.

“We’re going to have a very short amount of time to hear from both of these bodies. I’m wondering if we’re going to have a package on Friday and making a giant decision on a Wednesday, that concerns me as well,” he said during the Wednesday meeting. “I think we need to address that somehow in terms of the approach and how we’re representing our taxpayers.”

CRD board chair Barb Desjardins reminded the board that the project is a joint effort between all entities and shouldn’t be considered an “us versus them situation.”

The issue of building a wastewater treatment plant to serve the region has plagued residents for years. Earlier this year, the province stepped in to help manage the controversial project, warning the CRD could risk losing $500 million in funding if it doesn’t meet the Sept. 30 deadline to identify a site for the plant.