City continues to study sewer solution

Published on Thu, Oct 23, 2003
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City continues to study sewer solution

Blaine city council continues to study the sewer issue and wastewater alternatives, and will meet again next Monday, October 27, at 5:15 p.m. in a public study session at city hall.

The council is reviewing the recommendations made by the Citizens Wastewater Advisory Committee (CWAC) � a 10-member committee comprised of residents with a wide range of backgrounds � and is receiving information from city staff.

According to public works director Steve Banham, much of the focus during the last study session was on financing and how the alternatives could be funded. �The city is taking a very pragmatic approach to this decision,� he said. �Council reached a consensus that connection to Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) through Surrey is the preferred alternative to be included in the general sewer plan that will be submitted for review in early November.�

The updated general sewer plan will be submitted to the state Department of Ecology (DOE) for approval, which is a prerequisite for most grant and loan funding applications.

Banham said building a new wastewater treatment plant on Marine Drive would be a back-up, if the city is unable to reach an agreement with Canada.

�Although there will clearly have to be increases in wastewater rates and connection charges, the Canadian solution is the one that provides an effective solution with the least burden to the ratepayers � a concern to both staff and city council,� Banham said.

According to public works, the federal government provided a $225,000 grant to conduct the wastewater planning effort currently in progress. Special consideration is given to municipalities that already have high sewer rates compared to the median income, and Blaine falls into that category.

The CWAC committee is composed of: Frank Bresnan, Pam Christianson, Jeff Green, Trevor Hoskins, Jan Hrutfiord, Jim Jorgensen, Geoff Menzies, Brad O'Neill, and Ken Raithel. Mark Henderson of the Department of Health assisted the committee.

For those individuals seeking additional information, visit online at www.cityofblaine.com and click under what�s new. Materials can also be found at the public works conference room at 1200 Yew Avenue in Blaine from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.