Councillors take issue with mayor’s Area D views
City councillors are clarifying information surrounding the Area D boundary extension proposal.
A letter written by Coun. Claire Moglove, which is supported by all six city councillors, begins, “please find enclosed information that addresses some of the misinformation previously circulated and provides some context to the mayor’s recent comments in the media regarding Area D and the amalgamation process.”
The letter points out that the city budgeted $75,000 to fund all aspects of the proposal to extend the city’s southern boundary, with $71,362.60 spent to date.
“This is a significant difference from the $200,000 the mayor (has) quoted,” reads the letter. “We have no idea where the mayor came up with the inflated amount of $200,000.”
Moglove writes that the referendum, which failed with an 84 per cent ‘no’ vote, will save the city more than the $75,000 budgeted as studies and plans to extend the city’s sewer service to Area D are no longer needed.
“The city has already incurred substantial costs with the Willow Point and Highway 19A upgrades to provide increased capacity in the event Area D wanted to tie into the city’s sewer services,” reads the letter. “With the clear result of the recent referendum, we can now move forward to provide sewer service planning that is solely within city limits and for Campbell River taxpayers.”
Moglove said the process was always about getting clarity from Area D, which voted in favour of some form of sewer service in a 2006 referendum.
It came down to Area D having to make a decision on joining the city after council implemented policy that the city would not extend its sewer service to areas outside of the city boundaries.
Moglove said council was acting in the best interest of city taxpayers.
“The boundary extension proposal offered fair and equitable city service delivery, but we respect that Area D voters have chosen to manage their septic system issues without connecting to the city’s municipal sewer system.”
Moglove said the city will continue to move forward with designing and constructing several sewer upgrade projects within the next five years that are aimed at accommodating current and projected community growth for up to 100 years.
Meanwhile, the city has released decisions council made in-camera throughout the boundary extension process. Motions that were passed by council date back to July 12, 2011 when council asked city staff to submit a formal proposal for sewer service, water supply, water system maintenance and transit service to the Strathcona Regional District.
That packaged deal was turned down by the regional district and in late 2012 the city moved forward with a boundary extension proposal instead.
By December 2012, council had approved spending $75,000 on a consultant and on undertaking a public consultation process.
It is noted in the in-camera minutes that councillors Ron Kerr and Larry Samson were opposed to a large number of motions between 2012 and 2014 while the mayor, who publicly opposed the project starting in April of 2014 was in favour of all motions until a vote on Dec. 3, 2013 that directed the city to proceed with phase one of sewer implementation.
Jakeway was not opposed to any of the 10 votes taken by council between Jan. 21, 2014 and March 25, 2014 but was opposed to votes on April 15, May 23 and June 10 of 2014.