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Meadow Park petition sinks pricey sewer-line link

North Cowichan repealed a sewage bylaw for Meadow Park Road and Roome Road after a majority of residents signed a petition. - Don Bodger
North Cowichan repealed a sewage bylaw for Meadow Park Road and Roome Road after a majority of residents signed a petition.
— image credit: Don Bodger

A user-pay sewer system was backed by North Cowichan council Wednesday after Meadow Park residents successfully petitioned to sink a costly link to municipal sewer lines.

Mayor Jon Lefebure explained the petition by some 60% of the area's homeowners basically scrubbed an earlier petition to hook Meadow Park — off Roome Road, east of Somenos Lake — to the municipal system.

"Council provided residents of Meadow Park an opportunity to petition to have the other petition rescinded, and there was over 60% support to rescind the bylaw for the local-area service."

Individual homeowers' faulty septic systems will now be addressed by Island Health officials, he explained of Meadow Park's 33 homes.

"It's a concern," the mayor said of some failing septic systems, spewing health worries, "and technically Island Health's area of responsibility, so they may require individual owners to put in expensive systems."

Folks with properly operating septic systems will not share in that cost — as they would have under the earlier bylaw to force all park residents to share the pipeline-connection tab.

In 2012, subdivision residents narrowly petitioned to support hooking to the municipal system at a cost of about $12,000 per lot.

Many homeowners were opposed, but Lefebure said council decided to approve the expansion as being "in the best interests of the community."

However, when the project went to tender, engineering concerns meant costs would skyrocket to more than $17,000 per home. Because of that, council backed away from the plan.

March 19 saw staff present a report indicating because a bylaw had been passed to proceed, it could only be yanked through a new neighbourhood petition.

Staff is now drafting a bylaw to repeal the Meadow Park Sewer Local-Area Service bylaw.

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