Capital Regional District sewage levy concerns mayors

Taxpayers will see a 19 per cent increase from the CRD to cover the cost of the proposed sewage project.

Victoria and Esquimalt residents are in for some sticker shock when they open this year’s municipal tax notice.

While both Victoria and Esquimalt have announced a small two per cent tax increase, local taxpayers will see a 19 per cent increase from the Capital Regional District to cover the cost of the proposed sewage project.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said collecting such a large amount from taxpayers is concerning.

She said there is no sewage project in place and even the numbers aren’t valid at this point.

“I believe we should be collecting to be prepared, but we shouldn’t be over collecting,” she said.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is of two minds.

“The concerning piece is that we are collecting money for a project that we don’t know exactly what it is yet, [but] over collecting in one year means when push comes to shove and shovels go into the ground the costs won’t be so sudden to our taxpayers.”

Hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants are riding on the success of the sewage treatment program.

The CRD’s sewage-treatment project has a budget of $788 million, of which the federal government has committed $253 million.

When municipalities send out annual tax bills they collect for other agencies such as the CRD and school district, among others.

Desjardins said there are limits, though.

“We shouldn’t be collecting for sewage at this time. It’s frustrating.”

In the meantime, a potential list of 20 technically feasible sites for wastewater treatment and resource recovery facilities in the westside communities of Esquimalt, View Royal, Colwood and Langford has been compiled by the Westside Solutions technical committee.

The sites – which will not be identified by location at the present time because several of them are privately owned – were selected based on their size and their proximity to existing trunk lines, potential outfalls, neighbourhoods, and existing developments that could take advantage of resource recovery opportunities.

“This is a positive step forward, but we have more work to do yet,” said Desjardins, co-chair of Westside Solutions.

“The Select Committee is reviewing the report and will combine it with ongoing input from our public engagement process. These parallel processes will help us arrive at a technically viable and publically acceptable solution for wastewater treatment and resource recovery in the westside. ”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mustard Seed Coffee Company launches online ordering, free delivery

Program proceeds assist Greater Victoria residents in need

Current Taxi offers free rides for healthcare workers to or from hospitals

Rides must stay within 20 km of Victoria General or Royal Jubilee Hospital

Canadian seniors isolated with fewer friends, less access to internet

Findings appear in assessment of health and social challenges associated with COVID-19

Advocates call safe drug supply a victory but worry about logistics in pandemic

Pandemic contributes to scarce supply, advocates worried about potential impact on the streets

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

Most Read