Jensen presses pause on McLoughlin site

Second look still on the agenda after wider consideration, says mayor

A pair of deferred motions for second-looks mean more delayed discussion at the core area liquid waste management committee.

Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen’s motion to have a second look at McLoughlin Point for a wastewater treatment plant and Victoria Coun. Jeff Young’s motion to have a look at cost allocations for the project were deferred to the next meeting, slated for Feb. 10.

Jensen pressed pause on his plan to have the Technical Oversight Panel look at the testability of McLoughlin Point as a site for wastewater treatment plant.

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“There’s obviously a growing interest in that as an issue that people are just awakening to now because they’ve only recently learned of the costs of the new options,” Jensen said.

“It’s to allow the public discussion to take place, also for the directors around the table to take a look at it themselves and find out how their constituents feel about it.”

He feels it’s a significant conversation required region-wide with options on the table between two and three times as much as the McLoughlin alternative.

“There no doubt would be a slight increase in the cost but not when you compare it to the costs for the current new options, it’s a very significant difference,” Jensen said. “What other ways would we want to consider spending the money? $250 million could buy three new public assisted living facilities. … There are a lot of other needs in the region that we hear a lot about so it is a matter of having a public discussion.”

Jensen pulled his motion but says he intends to file a similar notice of motion for the Feb. 10 meeting.

Young’s motion asked that the committee task staff to report back on procedural changes or governance enhancements that ensure participants anticipated to use or pay for a component of the eastside or westside wastewater treatment sub-systems be included in the governance system directing the design and eventual operation of the system.

“The circumstances have changed since I first put this on the floor and since some of us put on a similar motion. I would note that circumstances do seem to keep changing so … I may well wish to place it on a future agenda,” Young said.

Instead, Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt made the motion to shift it to the Feb. 10 date to keep the topic alive and “to ensure we have taxation with representation.”

The Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee next meets Feb. 10. Meetings are streamed live online at crd.bc.ca.

Wastewater workshops

Eastside Wastewater Workshops: Feb. 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Victoria Conference Centre and Feb. 13 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Cadboro Commons at UVic.

Provide input about where to build treatment facilities, what technology is used, what the costs will be and how we can make use of the water and energy produced. Visit CoreAreawastewater.ca for details and the most recent public survey.