Residents rankled by McLoughlin sewage-plant disruptions

About 140 people packed a meeting room at the Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel on Thursday night to show their concern about the sewage-treatment plant going in at McLoughlin Point.

John Gunton, a panellist, said the $765-million project is a foregone conclusion but people can still voice their opinions.

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“The ship has sailed on the sewage plant,” he said. “Let’s make sure it goes in the right direction and doesn’t founder.”

Gunton said the project has been 10 years in the making but he has questions about the overall design. He said there hasn’t been enough consideration given to the communities that will be affected.

Vic West, James Bay, Fairfield and downtown residents helped organize the meeting.

“What we’re trying to do at tonight’s meeting is to inform the public as to what the degree of impact is going to be,” he said. “Not only a physical impact but a financial impact.

“During construction for the next 2 1/2 years, the communities are going to be hugely impacted.”

Dallas Road resident Bruce North said he is leery about being downwind of the plant, calling it a “huge concern.”

“Noise is going to be steady,” he said.

North said he is also concerned that the Dallas Road bluffs will be destabilized by drilling to bury the sewage line.

Christine Gallagher said the planning seems to her to be “shortsighted.”

The meeting was paid for by residents, and donations were collected from the crowd.

The Capital Regional District has organized a pair of information meetings about the plant: April 5 at the Hotel Grand Pacific, 5 to 8 p.m., and April 12 at the Royal Canadian Legion’s Esquimalt branch, also 5 to 8 p.m.

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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