Why is Sechelt rushing to sign contracts by early March with the Veolia consortium to build the new wastewater treatment facility at the Ebbtide site, ahead of the March 19 open house?
In March 2012 the District invited five companies to submit proposals to design and construct a new wastewater facility. The proponents were given the option of choosing the Ebbtide, old Dusty Road, Lot L site on lower Dusty Road or any combination thereof, despite the fact that virtually every previous study recommended against building new capacity at Ebbtide. It was deemed too small and the area too densely populated.
In recognition, council purchased Lot L in 2008 for the construction of a centralized wastewater facility to replace both the Ebbtide and old Dusty Road facilities. On April 4, 2012, council confirmed Lot L as the wastewater site.
Surprisingly, on Feb. 5, council announced that the Veolia consortium was the preferred proponent to build the new wastewater facility at the smaller Ebbtide site rather than on the larger Lot L at a price tag of $21.5 million, which necessitated borrowing an additional $2.5 million for relocating the works yard to Lot L in order to make space for the wastewater plant at Ebbtide.
We do not know whether any of the other proposals might offer better value for our money because council will not tell us anything about those proposals. Why? What if a competing proposal is better suited to the long-term expansion needs of Sechelt at a lower cost by using the larger Lot L, located in a less dense neighbourhood?
Jef Keighley, Halfmoon Bay