Courtenay launches AAP for sanitary sewer project

An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) has been launched in Courtenay to measure public support for funding the Greenwood Trunk Sanitary Sewer.

Total project costs are estimated at $4.1 million. Of this total, $1.05 million will be allocated from reserve funds, and $50,000 from general sewer utility revenue, with the remainder funded by borrowing.

The good news for Courtenay residents is that it will not cost taxpayers any more money.

Debt servicing costs for this project are estimated at $173,900 per year and have been calculated using the latest Municipal Finance Authority interest rates with amortization over 25 years. These costs are fully recovered by the existing annual sewer frontage tax levy within the sewer fund and will not impact the general taxation debt levy.

“That really goes to show [the benefit of] having a proper reserve budget for each project going on,” said Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells. “If you don’t have that reserve, it becomes a much bigger hit when it comes time to ‘pay the piper’ so to speak.

“We are borrowing money, but the debt servicing cost has already been factored in.”

The project is required to increase capacity in the sewer system for current and future development in East Courtenay. In order to proceed with construction in 2020, Courtenay will need to borrow $3 million.

“The Greenwood Trunk is the City’s top priority sewer project,” said Wells. “The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) has already completed construction on the Comox Valley Sewer Service portion of the Greenwood Trunk, and the only thing left for this project is for the City to complete our section. This upgrade will provide much-needed additional capacity in the sewer system in East Courtenay, as well as help reduce demand on the main Courtenay sewer lift station on Comox Road.”

The Greenwood trunk will redirect sewage to the CVRD’s new Comox Valley Sewer Service trunk on Anderton Road, and allow the City to decommission three smaller temporary lift stations. The two new lift stations along the Greenwood Trunk will be designed with improved technology, including the ability to monitor the system remotely, decreasing response times and improving efficiency.

The new line will move wastewater from East Courtenay to the sewage treatment plant on Brent Road via the CFB Comox pump station, bypassing the Courtenay pump station. Diverting wastewater away from the Courtenay pump station will alleviate capacity concerns and help to accommodate future growth in the community.

The number of eligible Courtenay electors has been determined to be 20,162. Council may proceed with borrowing unless at least 10 per cent, or 2,017, of electors submit Elector Response Forms declaring their opposition to borrowing prior to the deadline on Feb. 18 at 4:30 p.m.

Elector response forms are available at www.courtenay.ca/greenwoodtrunkAAP or at Courtenay City Hall, 830 Cliffe Ave. Once completed, signed elector response forms may be submitted in person at City Hall, by mail (City of Courtenay, 830 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, V9N 2J7) or email info@courtenay.ca

Learn more: www.courtenay.ca/greenwoodtrunkAAP

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