Despite what Oak Bay News reported, Oak Bay Council did not reject mitigation of the proposed sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt, rather they rejected the “community benefits agreement” which would have built things like bike lanes. What they didn’t reject was mitigation, much like what they did at the Currie Road pump station near Windsor Park wherein they hid it as a residential house. Mildly ironic that it is a picture of that very pump station that Oak Bay News used to illustrate their article.
One thought on “OakBay coucil doesn’t reject sewage mitigation”
The challenge with deciding on the type and amount of \community benefits\ that Esquimalt might garner from having the sewage plant sited at McLoughlin Point, is the opportunity cost for Esquimalt of having that chunk of prime, waterfront Victoria Inner Harbour land forever alienated from their development plants. A sewage plant at McLoughlin Point has NOTHING in common with current harbour activities, so would be no more a part of the Harbour as that Currie Road pumphouse is a part of the Oak Bay community.
Since there is NO evidence of any need for additional land-based sewage treatment in the CRD core area, Esquimalt will receive NO shared benefit from having the plant in its municipality – and therefore should hold out for the absolute maximum possible financial benefits it can squeeze from the CRD, from the province and from the federal government. So what IS that maximum amount??
I would propose to Esquimalt that they look at City of Victoria property tax bylaws as a model, where the Utilities rate is $33 per $1,000. So, on a $600 million sewage plant + conveyancing pipelines, it provides an annual income to Esquimalt of about $15 million annually – enough to offset the unnecessary sewage treatment costs for Esquimalt residents. Now THAT is a decent community benefit! However, they should ask for more for their hosting the sewage plant, and a nice little extra benefit would be a bylaw that allows ONLY Esquimalt residents to work at the plant. That will be about 50 jobs or more.
Well, the final negotiated community benefits might look a little different from this proposal, but its a good starting point if the CRD, province and federal governments insist on plunking this plant on Victoria!
For more information on the unnecessary sewage treatment plant: