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Mission Hill businesses want action from City of Courtenay
Garf Baxandall wants the City of Courtenay to take action on Mission Hill businesses' water and sewer issues.
Baxandall owns the Ford dealership at 4901 Island Highway and he said a number of property owners, who pay "big" business taxes to the City, need City water and sewer services extended to meet their needs.
Currently, nine businesses get their water from the Sandwick Waterworks District and five have their own septic fields because the City's services don't go that far up the hill, according to Baxandall.
He appeared on behalf of these businesses — including Comox Valley Dodge, Eldorado Upholstery and Courtenay Motorsports — at Monday's City council meeting.
"There's the water issue and then there's the sewer, and the water is really important," Baxandall told council.
"The City of Courtenay has issued a stop to any building permits on properties on top of Mission Hill in the Sandwick Waterworks District. The reason given was not enough water pressure for firefighting standards."
Baxandall said he was informed that the City had set aside $400,000 to $500,000 to hook the area up to the City's water system sometime in 2012. He said he wanted to make sure this happens, so went to council to make sure they knew the need is great for the businesses.
"We've got a couple little projects we wanted to do, and the upholstery shop here next door, Eldorado, wanted to add onto their building — they were refused," said Baxandall. "Chrysler's going to build a new building — they could do nothing right now if they wanted to start on this new building."
Baxandall also said the water problems are causing an extra expense for his dealership on a daily basis. It offers courtesy car washes to its customers, and he said the water quality is so bad that calcium deposits are left on the cars if they aren't shammied promptly.
"It's probably costing us twice as much," said Baxandall. "It takes twice as long, so we have to have twice the people doing it, and it's very, very expensive."
Meanwhile, Baxandall said the five businesses not connected to the City sewer system must pay to have their septic tanks pumped.
"They have to bear the cost of having it pumped and hauled away at $5,000 to $6,000 a year," Baxandall wrote in his request. "We would like to know when we will be hooked up to the Courtenay sewer system."
Mayor Larry Jangula asked City staff to look into the matter and said he hoped to revisit the issue early in the New Year.