Letters: Address issue of sewer contract

Public works department for sewer may not be best for Sooke

Now that the civic elections are in full flight there seems to be no real contentious issues evolving.

Three years ago at this stage prior to elections the issue of a proposed 20-year contract for sewer maintenance and planning for future sewer expansion was the hot topic.

Mayor candidate Wendal Milne raised the issue challenging the intentions of the outgoing council who felt a long-term contract based on the track record of EPCOR earned their support for a long-term contract. Not so said Milne along with council members Herb Haldane and Bev Berger as well as council candidate Rick Kasper.

A public meeting was convened and it was there that the real reasons for their concerns was fully revealed. This was the political football that provided opportunity for negative campaigning by bashing the outgoing administration. There was lots of EPCOR bashing but seemingly only for being a company headquartered in Alberta. Interestingly Milne stated at least three times what a wonderful professional company they are, what a fine job they are doing. Even As the meeting unfolded it became evident that the council members present favoured the creation of a Public Works Department believing it would save money and that the requirement to operate the system could  just as easily be done in-house. These views are a complete change in direction from the current model of the last 10 years.

I reside in the sewer containment area and so far I’m happy with my tax bill and the service provided and challenge all of the political candidates to address this issue during the ongoing campaign especially candidates Berger, Haldane and Kasper.

The current sewer contract expires mid way through the fouryear term and addressing it should begin long before it expires to allow the time needed do a proper review and avoid the fiasco demonstrated with the current contract which did not get us the best deal possible.  The last contract with EPCOR excluded any provisions for planning of expansion and I believe there may be much interest for this provision in the future.  The issue of a possible publics works department concerns me as I don’t think anyone has any sense of the true financial cost, let alone the effect on the administration of more people and their responsibilities. Contracting out for professional services is a proven and appropriate way to do business.

These are my best recollections from three years ago and I only give a general overview.

A.E Davies

Sooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SD62 says parents of kids who have problems with bus stops and pick up times should reach out to their transportation department to find a solution. This comes after a Grade 10 student attending EMCS in Sooke found out he had to walk 45 minutes to get to the nearest bus pickup. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus route mishap leaves EMCS student walking 45 mins to pickup spot

Sooke School District willing to work with family to find solution

file
Oak Bay resident bilked $3,300 in puppy scam

Three cases of fraud reported in two days

Sidney’s Star Cinema has temporarily closed as part of efforts to COVID-19. (Black Press Media File).
Sidney’s Star Cinema temporarily goes dark

Closure reflects provincial health order in effect until Dec. 7

Victoria police are asking for help locating Jordan Doddridge who is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VicPD seek help locating man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Jordan Doddridge has an extensive criminal history including violent offences

(Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria dine and dash brings $230 fine

Group paid the bill, police locate suspect who violated provincial restrictions, mistreated staff

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read