Courtenay residents glad 'lookout' will not be threatened

SANDPIPER DRIVE RESIDENT Steve Williams is pleased this spot at the corner of Sandpiper and Millard Road, commonly known as Millard Outlook, or the Lookout, was not dug up to install a sewer lift station. - Renée Andor
SANDPIPER DRIVE RESIDENT Steve Williams is pleased this spot at the corner of Sandpiper and Millard Road, commonly known as Millard Outlook, or the Lookout, was not dug up to install a sewer lift station.
— image credit: Renée Andor

The City of Courtenay has responded to residents' concerns regarding a sewer lift station near the Millard estuary, and will look at an alternate site.

Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula, City staff, interested groups and area residents met Thursday at the previously proposed site for a sewer lift station at the corner of Sandpiper Drive and Millard Road.

Jangula said he was pleased to hear the residents' were not against coming onto the City's sewer system generally.

" 'We're not opposed to sewers, we want sewers' — that came out loud and clear from the people that were there," Jangula reported to council at Monday's meeting. "Basically they were in favour of everything, just if we could move that location away."

The meeting was organized after an excavator showed up at the site July 6. Residents were shocked, and concerned about the lift station's proximity to the Millard Estuary, as well as being right next to a popular area commonly called the 'Millard Outlook' or simply, the 'Lookout.'

The City will look at a spot across Sandpiper Drive on the corner of the Millard Nature Park, which could be hidden amongst trees instead of out in the open in plain view of the lookout area.

According to Courtenay director of planning Peter Crawford, the City is doing an environmental check of the new site, noting no major environmental issues were found at first glance. Archeological research also needs to be done, but the City asked the contractor to pause all work in the area while they evaluate the new site.

Area resident Steve Williams, who is the spokesperson for the group, said he's pleased with how the meeting went and residents feel like the City is listening to their concerns.

"It's good," said Williams. "We seem to be making progress and we've talked about forming a committee including the residents to review the design and to talk about further developments — as opposed to a 'them and us' situation, we would become a little more integrated."

Crawford confirmed the City is considering forming a committee during the design stage, and will keep residents informed of what's going on with the project.

He pointed out this area is already inside City limits and is not part of the larger sewer servicing project that is being considered for the regional district's Area A.

Buckstone Developments would pay the vast majority of the installation cost, according to Crawford, and Courtenay taxpayers are not subsidizing any of the costs, although area residents would chip in for some connection costs.

Crawford noted where exactly the sewer lines will run to connect houses to the lift station placement of the sewer lines has not been decided.

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