EDITORIAL: Sewer debate has nasty stink

Residents waiting 35 years for sewers subjected to more delays.

It’s tough to fault Green Lake residents for raising a stink after waiting more than three decades for sewers.

To make matters worse, many have paid for the service toward which they’ve yet to see any progress, with council after council debating or delaying spending.

Even more frustrating is the fact the city doesn’t know how much was collected in sewer fees and charges from area residents.

Granted, the fee collection systems are especially complex and have changed over the years, hopefully for the better, making tracking difficult. But that doesn’t change the fact residents shelled out for a service from which they have yet to benefit.

The argument that sewer fees are like school taxes – everyone pays because everyone benefits – doesn’t hold water. What benefit are homeowners who aren’t connected to sewers getting for their money? It certainly isn’t helping them pay for their aging and failing septic systems.

And that argument could easily be flipped around. Since everyone benefits, shouldn’t we all pay to have these properties connected to sewers?

The city is going to residents asking for an 80:20 spending ratio, after an earlier offer to cover 60 per cent was rejected.

But considering these residents already paid a certain, unknown amount toward sewers, the city needs to determine – or even get a rough idea – how much money was collected.

Until it has that figure, it is disingenuous to ask these 107 property owners to spend thousands more toward the $3.2-million cost to connect them to municipal sewers, not to mention the additional $1,800 connection fee and thousands more for the necessary pumps.

Frankly, nearly everything about this sewer situation stinks.

Just Posted

‘Our culture is not a religion,’ indigenous educator tells Nanaimo court in case of smudging at school

Mother also gave evidence Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court, case continues Wednesday

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time for a ban on leaf blowers

Loud noise can cause heart attacks, deafness and mental disorders, says letter writer

Nanaimo’s Kirkwood Academy presents 20th production of ‘The Nutcracker’

More than 150 dancers of all ages to participate in classic Christmas ballet Nov. 22-23

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A vegetarian diet is a viable choice

Plant diets can support more people than animal diets based on plant inputs, says letter writer

Nanaimo RCMP utilize new online crime reporting tool

Damage, mischief, theft under $5,000 can be reported online

Harbour City Theatre Alliance builds on tradition with ‘A Christmas Carol’

Local adaptation of the Christmas classic returns to Nanaimo starting Nov. 21

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

Nanaimo boxers will look to land punches for Ringside Rescue program

Nanaimo Boxing Club holding a fundraiser card Saturday, Nov. 23, at Departure Bay Activity Centre

Nanaimo woman seeks knitters to make blankets for cats

Dale Burke inspired by creator of Comfort for Critters

B.C. to more than double sales tax on vaping products

Tax up from 7 to 20 per cent, tobacco tax up two cents

Site where rockslide occurred along Malahat is too narrow for rock blasting or drilling: Emcon

‘Rockfalls are inevitable, so we try to increase our response times,’ says representative

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Most Read