Quadra Island residents have said yes to sewer service.
Property owners in the Quathiaski Cove area voted in favour of expanding the island’s sewer service in order to hook up to the system.
According to preliminary tallies, 18 people voted ‘yes’ while 15 said ‘no’ during a referendum held Saturday.
The positive vote means 36 properties in the foreshore and Pidcock Road area, as well as on Heriot Bay Road, will be able to get off septic systems and onto sewer service.
Quadra Island Director Jim Abram said the $720,000 sewer expansion will be a benefit for the entire community.
“It’ll serve some people who really, really need the service because of failing septic systems and it’ll be a benefit to the environment,” Abram said. “I realize there will be some people who will be upset because they just put in new septic fields in the past few years and I’m really sorry it went that way for them (but) it’s more of a community benefit by it going ahead than having it not go ahead.”
The project will cost each affected property owner $9,100 plus an additional cost to hook up their property to the sewer line which will vary from home to home.
The project has been on the Strathcona Regional District’s radar for several years. The sewer expansion was first proposed in May 2012 at which time a petition was circulated to try and obtain approval for the project. But the petition failed, with only 30 per cent of affected residents signing in support of the project which originally required property owners to contribute a $16,630 one-time payment or pay a parcel tax of approximately $1,400 for 20 years. This spring, the regional district tried again, and was able to lower the price to $9,100 by applying $392,400 in federal Gas Tax funds towards the cost.
On Saturday, roughly 54 per cent of those who turned out to cast a vote, agreed to that figure.
Abram said while he’s pleased the regional district finally got the assent of voters after so many years, he was surprised to see such a low turnout at the voting station.
“It was a number very surprising to me,” Abram said. “I was told by the regional district that 100 voters were eligible to vote and out of 100 we got 33, so I’m quite surprised – with the debate we had over whether we should or we shouldn’t do a sewer, and there were a lot of people who spoke out against the sewers.”
Russ Hotsenpiller, chief administrative officer for the regional district, said the results of the referendum will go to the regional district board for review at its next meeting Aug. 13.
The project is expected to go out to tender with construction to begin in the spring of next year and completion is estimated by October 2015.