The Community Association of Oak Bay feels that the recent decision by Council to postpone the Uplands Sewer Project will have a profound effect on future property taxes.

At the Council meeting of January 11, 2010, the Mayor and five Councillors made a decision to postpone the approval of the Uplands Sewer Project. Nils Jensen did not support the motion. The decision could result in property tax increases of as much as 15% or $400.00 per year for the average home owner in Oak Bay over the next 20 to 25 years. This would be in addition to the estimated $700 – $800 per year increase which will be levied against Oak Bay tax payers to pay for and operate the proposed new sewage treatment system for the proposed Capital Regional District Liquid Waste Management System.

Prior to that meeting the engineering firm of Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. examined four possible solutions to the Uplands combined sewer (storm and sanitary) separation initiative, and recommended one known as a LOW PRESSURE SEWER (LPS) system.
Cost Evaluation
* CRD WWTP – Capital Regional District – Waste Water Treatment Plant

Council was prepared to approve the LPS system. Uplands residents, who account for 380 homes or 6% of the total households in Oak Bay, convinced Council to reconsider the engineer’s recommendations. Uplands residents have made it clear that they would prefer a gravity sewer system installation, costing from $23 to $30 million. There are no offsetting Federal and Provincial grants for this option. All costs of a gravity system will be born by all Oak Bay property taxpayers including the higher maintenance and treatment costs.

The engineer’s recommendation for the LPS would cost $7.6 million and is funded by federal and provincial infrastructure grants of $5.1 million. The balance of $2.5 million would be funded from the municipalities reserve fund and result in no property tax increase.

The Community Association applauds the interest and commitment of Uplands residents to work with all Oak Bay residents to resolve our long standing sewage issues. However, the solution proposed by some Uplands residents to deal with apparent needs of 6% of Oak Bay’s households confront all Oak Bay taxpayers with the costs of paying for a system that goes well beyond the base standards required for the sewer upgrade.

Please attend the council meeting of January 25 at 7:30 PM and demand council consider the interests of the other 5500 taxpayers of this community. Should you be unable to attend the council meeting send an e-mail to obcouncil@oakbay.ca, or deliver your written comments to the Municipal office attention Mayor and Council before January 25, 2010. Please forward this email to your Oak Bay friends and neighbours.

Council has not represented the financial interests of all taxpayers of Oak Bay in dealing with this issue. Furthermore, they have not considered the environmental effect their decision will have on the CRD’s Waste Management System.

Become informed about this issue. Information can be found here. You should be concerned about the lack of consultation, lack of information provided to you by Council, and the decision by Council to delay the vote.

Directors
Oak Bay Community Association