The Comox Valley Regional District anticipates sewer service to eventually extend to Royston, Union Bay and K’omoks First Nation lands in the southern reaches of the Valley. As such, the CVRD is recommending the Sewage Commission governance structure to include a KFN representative and the Area A director. The latter would take effect once the service for local improvements to connect to the sewage treatment service is approved.
“To me it seems like a good road map to connect Royston, Union Bay and First Nation lands in the future,” Area A director Daniel Arbour said at the May 12 commission meeting.
As it stands, the sewage commission consists of three members from Courtenay, three from Comox and one from the Department of National Defence. Voting is unweighted on all matters, with no jurisdiction having a majority.
“Having Area A on the commission once we connect Royston and Union Bay will ensure that we participate in planning and financial decisions of the sewage commission,” Arbour said. “It would ensure the concept of ‘no taxation without representation’.”
The City of Courtenay and the Town of Comox, together with contributions from CFB Comox (DND), became partners in the “sub-regional CVRD service that was created to develop and build a treatment plant,” states a report from Leftside Partners and Neilson Strategies. The sewage commission was created in 1982 to “oversee the operation and maintenance of the sewage interception, treatment and disposal facilities.”
The consultants report also notes environmental benefits of sharing one treatment plant, and ensuring that sewage generated by local communities is effectively and consistently treated to minimize impacts on coastal waters.