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Saltair refuses to pay for sewer study costs on own

The Cowichan Valley Regional District will pay the cost of Saltair’s sewer study, after Saltair residents overwhelmingly rejected footing the bill themselves.

“A total of 323 elector response forms were received in opposition to the bylaw,” Cowichan Valley Regional District corporate secretary Joe Barry said.

In order to reject the bylaw, 10 per cent, or 193 electors, were needed to respond in opposition.

The CVRD could try again by sending the issue to referendum. However, that is highly unlikely because of funding.

“A referendum would cost approximately $8,000,” said Barry.

Saltair used $15,000 of the CVRD’s money to complete the latest study. Now the regional district’s only chance of seeing the money returned is if the province approves a grant to help pay for Saltair sewers.

CVRD manager of engineering services, Brian Dennison, said Saltair’s refusal to pay for the study on its own would make it difficult for the CVRD to sink money into Saltair again. Saltair should pay for the study, as its residents are the ones that will benefit, he said.

“If the (bylaw) doesn’t get approved and the board has already put $15,000 into (Saltair), the board would be very unlikely to put more money forward in the future,” said Dennison.

Saltair is still waiting for the provincial government’s response to its sewer application.

Saltair regional director Mel Dorey said if the application is refused he will have to put the matter over to the health department.

The latest sewer study indicated coliform counts 20 times higher than acceptable levels.

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