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Ten property owners buy into sewer system
by Robin Wark for the Sooke News Mirror October 8, 2003

Mayor Janet Evans is pleased with the way private property owners outside of the specified area have stepped forward to be part of Sooke's sewer system.

Ten owners of private land have given the District of Sooke letters of credit for the calculated costs to increase the capacity of the sewer collection and treatment system to allow them to connect if sewers become a reality. The deadline for doing this was last Wednesday. These property owners must cover 100 per cent of these costs (ranging from $27,387 to $1.154 million) and pay for any development costs on their land. The land will be subject to the same taxes and fees associated with the system as other property owners as they are now part of the specified area.

In order to develop many of the properties that have bought in, rezoning is needed. But Evans said the landowners buying into the system are not guaranteed rezoning as that is the decision of the council of the day. The district made this clear in a letter it sent to all who were interested in buying into the project.

Sooke administrator Tom Day said these property owners buying in will reduce the cost, which has been estimated at no more than $650 a year, for others on the system. Lee Ward of EPCOR Water Services Inc., the Sooke project manager, was more cautious when asked about the subject but said he is hopeful this will occur.

Ward was pleased with what he felt was the support of the development community for the project.

Sunriver Estates on Phillips Road has put up a $1.54 million letter of credit to buy into the project, according to development representative Norm Eden.

"We just believe it's a good thing to do," said Eden, who noted Sunriver is in full support of a community sewer system. "There are so many benefits. ... We think it's a good thing to do for all of Sooke."

Specified area set

At a special council meeting Monday night, Sooke's governing body approved the specified area boundary for the sewer system. A map of the boundary is included in a district advertisement on page 7.

While council unanimously approved the boundary, audience members Gail Hall and Lois Gardner questioned why Whiffin Spit was not included if improving the environment is one of the system's aims. An answer wasn't given.

Also at the meeting council, approved a public information process for the system that includes the mailing of weekly bulletins until Nov. 24, newspaper advertising and open houses Nov. 3 and 4.

Boundary restructure meetings set

On the subject of the District of Sooke possibly extending its boundaries to include East Sooke, Shirley and Otter Point the boundary restructure committee meeting will be holding information meetings in the outlying areas. At each site a 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. open house will be held with consultant Tom Reid making a presentation at 7 p.m. This is an opportunity for residents to gather information and to ask questions about the subject.

The meetings will be held Nov. 5 at the Otter Point firehall, Nov. 12 at the Shirley Community Hall and Nov. 18 at the East Sooke Community Hall.



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