I am writing to you as a resident of Area B who is puzzled and confused by the recent decision of the Sewer Commission to disregard the recommendation made by a committee that involved input and participation of local residents of the Hawkins-Croteau Neighbourhood group. This all-inclusive committee came up with a ranked list of potential sites. The most highly rated choice for the safe redistribution of Courtenay and Comox sewage was to upgrade the existing sewage pump station, situated on industrial-zoned land adjacent to the former Field’s Sawmill site beside the 17th Street Bridge, a solution that was acceptable to Project Watershed, re. envisioning of the Field site and its restoration.
This first choice was based upon technical data provided by CVRD engineers.
I would have anticipated the sewer commission would have requested a cost-benefit analysis provided by CVRD financial advisors, but for some reason this did not occur. Our neighbourhood group, which includes professionals of all areas, did our own analyses. We feel that by making a long-term rather than a short-term decision, a minimum of $6.8 million could have been saved. Also, this highly rated choice would make the controversial sewer pump station No. 2 redundant and $10.8 million saved.
I know it is not thought to be popular locally for politicians to contemplate increased taxes, but we now know from the recent federal election that the residents of Canada will elect a government that promises to spend money for upgrading needed infrastructure.
I would urge the Sewer Commission, the staff in local governments and all other elected officials to seek out federal opportunities to obtain new infrastructural funding; to make logical and persuasive arguments to obtain those funds which could allow local governments to make sound choices for the future; and to follow through with the recommendation to upgrade the forcemain and field pump stations now.
Hawkins-Croteau Neighbourhood Group