Sewage decision haste makes waste for project

Moving too quickly on treatment plant project has limited valuable input

The Capital Regional District’s announcement of rising costs for its sewage treatment project only tells half of the story.

According to the CRD’s own estimates, savings gained by delaying operating costs are greater than CRD-predicted inflationary costs for the plant. Delaying the project’s completion until 2020 actually saves taxpayer money.

It has been the CRD’s haste that truly threatens the project’s success.

Haste in releasing the project’s requests for proposals before zoning has been approved now threatens unnecessary penalties. Haste in committing to a plan before resolving sludge transport and disposal issues creates environmental and property owners’ concerns.

Haste denies community input and adequate research into alternate, modern technologies such as gasification, which Vancouver is short-listing for its new plant. Haste and secrecy in the unnecessary purchase of the Viewfield Road property has wasted money and undermined public trust.

Isn’t it time to stop the haste, allow community input and accept Minister Polak’s offer of a flexible 2020 deadline? This is Greater Victoria’s most expensive megaproject ever.

Affected residents of the region should be allowed to contribute further input. Do so through the 2014 municipal elections.

Norma Brown

Esquimalt