City sweetens the sewer deal offered to Area D

Campbell River now offers to install sewers for all 535 properties in bid to annex portions of southern neighbour

  • Mar. 25, 2014 9:00 a.m.

The city has updated its southern boundary extension proposal in order to provide more properties with city sewer services all at once.

Under the new proposal, Campbell River is committing to provide sewer service to all 535 properties south to McGimpsey Road (estimated population of 1,235) in both the phase one and phase two sewer areas at the same time.

Originally, the city proposed to deal with phase two properties at a later date due to not enough grant funding.

The change was prompted by comments made by Area D residents at a February open house held at Ocean Grove Elementary and other feedback.

“After hearing the feedback from the open house and reviewing the financing options, council recognized that a marginal increase in city debt would allow us to provide sewer service to the entire area,” said Coun. Andy Adams, who holds the financial portfolio.

“The option presented will provide some certainty to the residents in the proposed boundary extension area that sewer services will be provided, and provides clarity for both the Strathcona Regional District and the city in moving forward with capital planning for infrastructure.”

The proposal, however, is contingent upon the Strathcona Regional District agreeing to transfer a grant worth $3.4 million and on senior governments agreeing to extend the grant beyond 2015 when it’s set to expire.

If 51 per cent of the affected residents vote during an upcoming referendum in favour of joining the city each property owner is expected to pay $9,300 – either in one lump sum or over the course of 20 years, likely starting in 2015.

Residents would have up to five years to connect to the city’s sewer system and also pay the $1,800 connection fee.

There would also be a third cost – to connect their home to the sewer line.

Ron Neufeld, the city’s general manager of operations, said the cost would vary significantly from property to property.

“It depends where the septic field is,” Neufeld said. “If it’s in the back or front makes a difference in where they need to hook up to. How the house is landscaped, if there’s a concrete driveway in the way, or planters – it completely varies.

“The best thing to do is call up a local contractor to give an estimate of what the cost would be to a particular property.”

Neufeld said when  North Campbell River and Quinsam areas joined onto the city’s sewer system – in the 1990s – costs ranged from one extreme to the other. For some, the process was relatively simple and the property owners were able to do the work themselves.

Meanwhile, city council has removed two large undeveloped parcels from its boundary extension area. The properties are located on the western limit of what has been called “sewer area one.”