Hopefully the residents of Area D will view any boundary extending proposals from the Campbell River Municipality and Council with a healthy degree of skepticism and caution.
I find it curious that Council and the Strathcona Regional District were unable to negotiate a service agreement for sewer, as we currently have two that I know of. One for water and one for fire protection. I wonder if the city is trying to regain more than just the actual cost of supplying sewer services and is perhaps looking for increased revenue streams instead. As I understand it, the costs of running Campbell River’s municipal operation appear to be quite high when compared to similar jurisdictions.
The failing septic systems are a serious issue for the residents of Area D. Long term, hooking up to Campbell River sewer through a cost recovery service agreement seems to make the most sense from an economic stand point for northern Area D residents. This option would also provide benefit to the municipality/community as a capital works projects and ongoing service/maintenance fees. Sadly, the current council has rejected this unless we become part of the Municipality and accept their bylaws and tax regime. This feels a little like an ultimatum, especially when the community is vulnerable with this issue. I would suggest that compact systems provide a much cheaper solution short term; or, just wait for a new council to be elected that is interested in discussing the benefit to both jurisdictions of a cost recovery service agreement. Most residents I talk to within the Campbell River Municipality have expressed concern or dissatisfaction with council and when I tell them what I pay for taxes in Area D their blood begins to boil. I doubt this council will survive another election cycle in their current configuration.
Resolving this issue long term will be expensive whichever way Area D residents decide to go. However, the long term liabilities/costs likely associated with becoming part of the Municipality and potential loss of our rural setting already has me cringing. All northern Area D residents need to collectively put on their thinking caps, inform themselves and decide what type of future community lifestyle we want or someone might do it for us.
Perhaps this note is premature and presumptuous. I just don’t want us to wake up a few years down the road with a much larger than necessary hole in our pockets and a pole peeling plant or worse for a neighbor.