Capital Regional District board agrees to move forward on project deadlines for sewage treatment plant
A significant development in the Victoria’s ongoing sewage treatment saga.
The Capital Regional District going to appoint a panel of experts to oversee the controversial project.
It’s one of five recommendations made today by the Minister of Sport and Culture, Peter Fassbender.
Several months ago, he was asked to assist the board with moving forward on the sewage treatment project.
He clarified the 500 million dollars in provincial and federal funding is on the table, and there are several serious deadlines the board needs to meet in order to qualify for $500 million dollars in provincial and federal funding.
“Well I think there’s some clear deadlines that are very short in the realities, September 30 as far as the federal government is concerned. So there’s a lot of work that needs to be done given the boards decision and the one reality is 2021 is a real deadline.”
The board agreed to Fassbender’s recommendations.
They include: establishing a project board that will oversee all aspects of planning, site acquisition.
They have to hire a project director.
The CRD terminated its project manager last year, paying Albert Sweetnam out 500,000 dollars in July.
They have to confirm a site for plant.
And the new board will have to develop a business case.
Zoning of an industrial site could potentially take years.
But the CRD doesn’t have years.
It has four and a half months.
There is only one parcel of land in the Capital Region that is zoned for a sewage treatment facility, and that’s Esquimalt’s McLoughlin Point, according to CRD Chair Barb Desjardins.
“There is one site and that’s McLoughlin at this time. That’s not to say that won’t change. We’re going to, as I said, move forward in this process. The project board will be looking at that.”
Just last month, Esquimalt’s council voted against locating a sewage-treatment plant within its boundaries, unless it was part of a distributed system.