Letter: Residential infill: the great distraction

Prime Oak Bay concern should be the looming costs of replacing aging infrastructure

Oak Bay council continues to focus on residential infill as a means to implementing the official community plan.  And despite increased staffing and contracted professional consultants, council have failed to gain support from the community.  The failed attempts have, however, effectively distracted attention from the prime concern – the looming costs of replacing aging infrastructure.

The chart on page 143 of the OCP pegs the (2009) estimated cost of replacing Roads/storm drains/sewer and water mains as $198 million. The financial statements in the 2015 annual report show the net book value of the same category as $28 Million. The latest financial reserves report (January 2017) shows a reserve fund balance of $18 million.

Capital funding required for replacing Oak Bay’s aging roads/storm drains/sewer and water mains – approximately $152 million.

The OCP chart also indicates that most of the infrastructure is near the end of its useful life.

It’s time for Council to stop the distraction of residential infill and focus on the community’s top priority in the OCP survey – a plan to deal with aging infrastructure  that will address funding, fair taxation and scheduling.

Esther Paterson

Oak Bay