Why has the Capital Regional District proposed to locate the sewage sludge plant in Esquimalt? What are the benefits over Hartland? The costs are the same — $17 million — yet the purchase of the land in Esquimalt falls entirely on regional taxpayers. The construction of the pipes to Hartland would have been shared by the provincial and federal governments, saving the regional taxpayers $11.3 million.
The location of the sludge plant has no bearing on increasing resource recovery. Denise Blackwell’s only defence of the new proposal is that it removes the disruption due to construction of the pipeline along the route to Hartland. This is only a temporary inconvenience; in contrast, the sludge plant in Esquimalt would be close to residences, food distributors and manufacturers, and would impose permanent socio-economic burdens.
In addition, the two proposed sewage plants in Esquimalt comprise over seven acres of commercial real estate, and the removal of this from the tax base in Esquimalt will add a significant and long-lasting financial burden to the residents. Will the CRD also foot the bill for these lost taxes, as Blackwell alludes to? How can the CRD be trusted when they reneged on previous commitments to compensate communities for impacts due to the McLoughlin Point plant?
The proposal to put the sewage-sludge plant in this location makes no sense. Arguments against this location are many, and the benefits are slim to none.
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