Is the Comox Valley Regional District South Sewer Project just another government boondoggle?
The proposed project, with an estimated cost of over $56 million, is to build sewer infrastructure for a part of the Comox Regional District that is currently using septic systems. A large portion of the cost of this proposed system is to be funded by the homeowners themselves. Most of the homeowners in the area have septic systems that operate well and in fact many in the area are new, yet even these homeowners will be forced to hook up to the sewer system if it is approved by voters in the June 18 referendum. My question is, why are we planning to spend tens of millions of dollars on a sewer system that is not required? If there are individual families that are having problems with their septic systems we could help fund them to make needed repairs at a far lower cost.
I attended several informative meetings put on by the SSP managers and engineers and even they were unsure of the total cost of the system.
While the referendum question includes the fixed costs for the sewer system as well as the annual costs, what is not included is the actual cost of an individual home hook-up to the system. In many locations this could be upwards of $10,000. Nor does it include the cost of decommissioning the septic systems, pulling out tanks, pumps and lines etc. All of this will be the responsibility of the homeowner. If the referendum is passed these costs are mandatory, every home in the management area will have to hook up to the system, even if you have a brand new, state of the art septic system, you will have to rip it out and hook up to the sewer.
The South Sewer Project’s website states that the system will be built to handle future expansion. In other words, it will be overbuilt. What I fear is that current homeowners who fall within the South Sewer Project management area will be funding a system that future developers will be able to tap into at very low cost.
Let’s take a more conservative approach and help repair the septic systems that might be failing and save the mega projects for the city. It seems to me that this is yet another case of government spending our money on a battleship when a rowboat is required.