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Options and cost estimates released for South Sewer Project

With scenarios for wastewater management services and their estimated costs now available for public review and comment, the south sewer project partners have entered an important phase of planning that requires the community’s feedback.

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), K’ómoks First Nation and Village of Cumberland are seeking feedback on four options presented to the south region last night at an open house for the CVRD’s liquid waste management plan (LWMP). Each option qualifies as the south sewer project, a three-way partnership that has secured $15-million in funding for construction of a centralized wastewater treatment facility. The CVRD has also allocated an additional $2-million in community works funds towards the electoral area ‘A’ portion of the project.

Preliminary costs of the four scenarios range from $49.5 M to $58.5 M for overall construction. Capital costs per connection are estimated at between $22,900 and $26,900 for electoral area ‘A’ residents included in the proposed phase one of construction, and between $8,000 and $12,000 for Cumberland residents. (Estimates for Cumberland currently include proportional amount of treatment facility and construction of a force main but not installation of collection pipes, which are already in place. Electoral Area ‘A’ estimates includes all portions).

“These costs will change as project planning progresses but should give the public a good sense of how costs may differ between the four scenarios being evaluated,” said Kris La Rose, manager of liquid waste planning, who says they are pleased with the huge turnout last night in Union Bay.

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“This is the time when people can really see what this project will mean to them and the south sewer project partners are eager to hear their comments,” said Bruce Jolliffe, chair of the CVRD’s board of directors and director for Baynes Sound-Denman Hornby Islands (Area ‘A’).

The open house last night was the second in the south region LWMP process for the CVRD’s south region and saw 160 people attend. The Village of Cumberland has completed a draft stage two report as part of its own LWMP process, which to date has identified connection to a treatment facility in the south region as the preferred option. If the two LWMPs align, the communities will work together to complete the final stages of the planning and project delivery process. The CVRD plans to identify a preferred option by early March.

“It’s nice to see the shortlisted options,” said Cumberland mayor Leslie Baird. “We look forward to the CVRD finalizing its preferred option so that the village can move forward on a decision in regards to participation.”

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