Monday, March 26, 2007

More than $1B for Victoria sewage treatment

The cost of building a centralized sewage-treatment facility for Greater Victoria has been pegged at $1.2 billion by the Capital Regional District. That's a big increase over the original estimate last year of $500 million. The new preliminary estimate in 2007 dollars is for design and construction, and does not include operations of the facilities. Regional district chair Denise Blackwell said homeowners could be facing property tax increases of $300 to $500 each a year, depending on which municipality they live in. She also told CBC News that municipal officials will try to find ways to ease some of the financial pain. "It'll be phased in over time. So that's one of the things we'll have to look at is, how can we phase it in so that it's a gradual increase in taxes to the local taxpayer, because it is a shocking number." A first draft of the sewage treatment plant will be made public by the end of April. The Capital Regional District has been ordered by the provincial government to submit a timeline by June 30 for the project. The federal, provincial and municipal governments have already agreed to help pay for sewage treatment for the capital city, which flushes 129 million litres of raw sewage into the ocean on a daily basis.


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