Extension shouldn’t jeopardize sewage funding: committee

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins says she’s happy with the one-month extension granted for assessing potential treatment sites in the western part of the region.

Members of the core area liquid waste management committee said they are confident they will still be able to meet deadlines required to access $83 million, though funder PPP Canada has not weighed in.

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“I don’t think there’s significant concern with the timeline, based on the way things have moved forward,” said Desjardins, who co-chairs the westside sewage committee with Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton.

The move must be approved by the Capital Regional District board on Aug. 12.

Although guidelines set out by PPP Canada dictate that costing of potential treatment sites should be completed in September, the core area committee voted to allow more comprehensive assessment of westside sites until mid-October.

Two committees were established to explore wastewater treatment options and potential sites after Esquimalt council voted in April 2014 to reject a CRD request to rezone McLoughlin Point for a sewage treatment plant.

Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria are part of the Eastside Select Committee while the Westside Select Committee includes Colwood, Esquimalt, Langford, View Royal and Songhees Nation.

The westside committee recently approved two new sites for consideration — one at the Royal Colwood Golf Course and the other next to the Victoria General Hospital at 2 Hospital Way in View Royal.

The sites have not yet undergone the same technical assessment or public consultation as the others.

The core area committee also voted to move forward with costing and analysis of three options in Rock Bay:

• A centralized treatment site for the entire region.

• A treatment site for the whole eastside.

• A treatment site for eastside flows currently directed to the Clover Point outfall. This option would mean some Saanich outfall would continue to be treated on the westside.

Seventeen sites that could be part of a distributed model will also be costed and analyzed.

The next stage will consider secondary and tertiary disinfected treatment, anaerobic digestion and gasification, and the potential for resource recovery and revenue generation.

Desjardins said committee members give regular updates to PPP Canada, but did not know when the next report would be made.

“The motions passed, as expected, from [Tuesday]. So that allows us to move forward with a process that has flexibility and oversight still built into it,” Desjardins said.

“So I’m pleased.”

asmart@timescolonist.com

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