Much effort and money it seems has gone into coming up with a proposal for Royston/Union Bay sewer. To help me make sense of the Royston/Union Bay South Sewer Project, I decided to review the 2005 proposal (which passed in a 2006 referendum) plus the 2009 update of that proposal. For 2005/2009, 1,362 parcels were included but only about 950 parcels are included for the June 2016 referendum.
The 2009 cost of $34,684,000+GST prorated to 950 homes would be about $24 million. Allowing for three per cent inflation per year, in 2019 dollars that would be $31 million. Why is the cost about $56 million now?
In 2009, the failure rate from Fraser Road to Trent River was estimated to be 10 per cent, but higher in the Union Bay area (up to 50 per cent). The cost to physically connect, from your house to the actual sewer line, will be thousands of dollars, especially if you need to have a pump installed. So, to pay for the system proposed ($22,000-$25,000) plus the cost of physically connecting from your house and dealing with your old septic system could raise the cost to $25,000-30,000. I want a sewer system because it would be more reliable than septic (and someone else takes care of the maintenance) and environmentally friendly, but not at these costs.
Assuming a ‘no’ vote that will allow for the opportunity to look at ways to bring the costs down, include more parcels and to secure more funding. It is easy enough to ask for grant extensions. Also, the new federal government is interested in the environment and infrastructure, so that may be a source of funding.
I cannot see the implementation of septic system police just for the Royston/Union Bay area. Politically, if such a draconian idea were raised it would need to cover the entire regional district including Hornby and Denman Islands. I look forward to a much better proposal sometime in the future.