Residents in Sooke are concerned about the imminent tax hikes to pay for the new sewer system.
The decision by the former Sooke Mayor and Council to charge all taxpayers for a portion of the costs of a proposed $16.4 - $19.4 million sewer system and outfall to serve the downtown core without a referendum has raised the concerns of all residents.
Former Mayor and Council announced in the Council Meeting of March 12, 2001 that costs estimates for the sewer system will be $23,945,000, which is a significant increase than previously thought. This estimate does not include purchasing the land required, more studies, and operating costs. Those will be additional costs that will be borne by the taxpayer.
Now it's supposedley back down to $16 million (sound familiar) but we can be certain that it will climb back up to well over $25 million and we will all have to pay.
We have formed a tax payer group called Worried Residents Against Tax Hikes (WRATH for short) in Sooke.
We are concerned about accountability of the former Sooke Mayor and Council and how our tax dollars are spent and the effects on the marine environment.
WRATH is dismayed that the former Mayor and Council have reneged on their promise to hold a referendum on whether to borrow the huge sums necessary to finance the sewers and outfall.
We are concerned about Council's decision to ignore the serious threats to the marine environment by the sewage outfall.
Former Mayor Ed McGregor and John Farmer, who is chairing the sewer study committee and has a lot financially to gain personally if the sewer system is built, keep changing the rules, and the boundaries of the area to be sewered on a daily basis. We suggest you make an appointment to see if you are in or out of the area. We discovered that they will change the map for you while you are in the meeting, but the public does not have this information.
Do you have concerns about this and other issues? If yes, we would like to hear from you. Call George at 642-5388.
WRATH has submitted a sewer system counter proposal to the grant review committee. Click here to view the executive summary.
The application for the grant has been approved in 2003 for $11.6 million. No doubt the sewer system will cost a lot more than that, and we will have to pay for it so that developers can build more properties. [Hey, by the way, who built the new homes with the lousy septic systems anyway? We can expect more of the same shoddy development, real estate agents will prosper, and many will lose their homes because of the exhorbitant costs to hook up the new sewer system and who will listen to them? Certainly not this government.
Stay tuned....Let's wait and see how much the sewer system will really cost us? Will there be a referendum? The former mayor promised us one (but reneged) and some of the new mayoral and councillor candidates say they support a referendum....but they are politician hopefuls....and we all know what politicians do.