It appears the two main funders for the south sewer project are on board, pending a positive result in an upcoming referendum.
On June 18, qualified electors will be asked to vote to determine support for the next steps of a community wastewater treatment system for parts of Royston and Union Bay including Kilmarnock Drive.
Because Cumberland has withdrawn from the project, phase one will deliver sewer services to about 950 homes. The cost is estimated at $56.2 million in 2019 dollars.
The Union of B.C. municipalities has a pending commitment of $15 million and P3 Canada $13.3 million. The latter is a federal Crown corporation.
“All the feedback is strongly positive,” said Kris La Rose, the regional district’s manager of liquid waste planning.
“Last year, the costs didn’t include the $13.3 million but they included Cumberland paying a large share of the costs.”
After Cumberland dropped out, the team revised the project scope, which resulted in a slightly decreased cost, he notes.
The project has also received $5.4 million from the K’ómoks First Nation.
“They really did make the difference for the project. Without that contribution, the project likely wouldn’t have proceeded.”
Remaining costs will come from a parcel tax over 30 years, estimated at $1,804 per year per parcel. If need be, costs can be deferred for those over 55.
“The ability to defer is a real lifeline,” La Rose said. “It at least provides the ability for people in those (difficult) situations to continue to live in their homes.”
He notes the average septic system is a Type 2, which can run up to $40,000 — more expensive than the south sewer project on an annualized basis.
The project team hosts an information session Wednesday, June 1 from 5-7 p.m. at the Royston hall.
For more information visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/vote