Residents in Sooke are concerned about the imminent tax hikes to pay for the new sewer system.
New development area(s) not part of proposed sewer service area.
By Robin Wark, for the Sooke News Mirror Wednesday October 30, 2002
The proposed community sewer system service area produced by EPCOR Water Services Inc. has some residents concerned.The proposed area, which centers on the village core and the BroomHill area, does not include the new development areas of the former Acreman property on Townsend Road or the proposed Sun River Estates development on Phillips Road. Work to build 32 homes on half of the former Acreman property is already underway and the proposed Phillips Road property could see 650 residential unit without sewers. Sooke resident Lois Gardner, who resides in the proposed service area, wonders about not including those dense areas, though she also has other concerns about the project. George Butcher, chairman of the Worried Residents Against Tax Hikes (WRATH), did not return a call for a comment on the subject last week. "(Those) are pretty dense area," said George OBriain, WRATH’s vice-chair [of WRATH].
But Mayor Ed Macgregor and Gary Smirfitt, the municipal engineer, said there is a simple explanation for why the areas are not included. The two men said the proposals from the trio of companies fighting for the project were judged on the number of parcels served and the cost per parcel.Smirfitt explained that by serving an undeveloped area the bidding company would not gain anything because the rating system was based on what is currently there.
"It is so hard to evaluate what the future holds," Smirfitt said. Both Smirfitt and Macgregor emphasized the service area is currently only a proposal and those areas could be added in during negotiations.