While both east and west committees agreed to stick with the status quo in cost apportionment, it wasn’t rubber stamped during the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee meeting last Wednesday.
At the CALWMC meeting Jan. 13, Director Cynthia Day, Colwood councillor, hoped to table the item on cost apportionment for a month “until we have a better idea of what we’re intending to share and what the implications may be,” she said. “We have not provided full information so making this decision would be premature.”
In the wake of some big numbers last month, Capital Regional District staff offered the Eastside and Westside wastewater treatment and resource recovery select committees alternate cost sharing formulas to those historically used in the region. Generally infrastructure is paid for by the municipality that benefits most.
“We need something to take to the public,” said Director Ben Isitt, a Victoria councillor. “We can’t have constant delay.”
Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen argued against Director and Saanich Coun. Vic Derman’s suggestion the “option we choose will inform whether it’s fair.”
“I’m not sure that’s terribly fair to the public. One of the concerns the public has is how much it’s going to hit them in the pocketbook? The vast majority of people, that’s their first question,” Jensen said. “If it’s going to change it should change now, and when we go out to the public … we can be honest with them about how much it’s going to cost.”
Five directors voted to delay while eight moved the cost apportionment forward.
Director Susan Brice, Saanich councillor, noted both Eastside and Westside saw the numbers and had “fulsome debates” and the numbers are likely to change.
“This issue is not about the size of the pie. This issue is about how to divide up the pie,” Bryce said. “Process of divvying up the pie … was one we were comfortable maintaining.”