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Courtenay lift station reaches end of service life

Courtenay council gave approval for city staff to apply for a grant for the First Street Lift Station project. Council also commits to a $705,000 share of the $2.642 million project, as well as cost overruns.
The First Street Lift Station is adjacent to the entrance at Puntledge Park. Scott Stanfield

Courtenay council gave approval for city staff to apply for a grant for the First Street Lift Station project. Council also commits to a $705,000 share of the $2.642 million project, as well as cost overruns.

The station is located inside a concrete block building at 1201 First St. adjacent to the entrance at Puntledge Park. The station is at the end of its service life and is operating over capacity. An options analysis recommends replacement. Construction is estimated to be complete by fall 2023.

Anderton Dike

Council directed staff to proceed with an options analysis to determine structural deficiencies of the Anderton Dike along the west bank of the Courtenay River. It extends about 260 metres from the 5th Street bridge to 230 Anderton Ave. The dike was originally built as a timber retaining wall — replaced in the 1980s with precast concrete sections and sheet pile. The latter supports the Anderton Arms apartment and former Cona Hostel. Some emergency repairs were completed in 2016. A total of $75,000 from the Engineering General Operating Budget will be allocated to complete the analysis.

South sewer extension

Council supports a CVRD grant application for the South Sewer Extension project, which aims to provide sewer service to Union Bay, Royston and K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) south lands. Property owners maintain and replace septic systems at the end of the service life. As the systems age, they are more likely to fail and leak into soil and groundwater, which poses a health risk for residents, and impacts the environment. Baynes Sound is downstream of the developments at Union Bay, and is a key part of the shellfish industry in B.C. Shellfish harvesting faces multiple closures each year from DFO. Providing sewer service to the area addressed a primary source of contamination, thereby protecting the sound and reducing shellfish closures.

In 2016, the community considered a proposal to build a wastewater treatment plant for Union Bay, Royston and Cumberland. It was voted down in a referendum. Since the, the Sewage Commission agreed to receive untreated wastewater from the area, direct it to the Comox Valley Water Pollution Centre and discharge it off Cape Lazo. The proposed project strives to provide conveyance from Union Bay, Royston and KFN South lands to the centre. It also resolves many concerns raised during the referendum.

Bill C-216

Council supports Wendy Morin’s request for a letter supporting Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns’ Private Members Bill C-216: An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and to enact the Expungement of Certain Drug-related Convictions Act and the National Strategy on Substance Use Act. The letter will be sent to federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The act intends to address harms associated with the criminalization of substance use by addressing root causes of substance use, ensuring a safe supply and reducing stigma associated with substance use, as a few examples.

“Many people wonder why we’re advocating for things outside of our jurisdiction, (but) I think it’s really clear this issue has impacted literally thousands of people, many in our community,” Morin said at the Feb. 14 meeting. She is happy to see Cumberland and the CVRD has supported the bill, and hopes Comox will also lend its support.

According to Coun. Will Cole-Hamilton, Johns said that private members bills are expressions of principle and likely to go nowhere. However, each year MPs pull a number from a hat to determine the order that bills will be addressed. He drew number four, so Johns is confident his bill will appear before the House of Commons, and has a chance of becoming a law.

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