Tuesday, January 10, 2017

It stinks, say homeowners

By Kate Bouey - CASTANET  Jan 10, 2017 / 6:00 pm 
A mandatory sewer hookup program in Coldstream is causing a bit of a stink. Approximately 50 letters have been mailed to affected households on Kalamalka Road, Giles Drive, Pine Drive and Mackie Road explaining how the program will work, confirmed Trevor Seibel, Coldstream's chief administrative officer. According to the letter, “the protection of Coldstream Creek and the tributary creeks are our priority.” An information session is being held at the municipal office on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 5-8 p.m. While the homeowners have two years to hook up and pay the $2,000 fee, a number of them have expressed frustration with the additional cost and work that is required on their properties. Some say it could be as high as $25,000 as many have their septic systems in the back and need to bring their line right up to the road.
When the sewer line extension went in, homeowners were told they would only have to join if their septic systems failed.
“Unfortunately, most did not because they had functional disposal systems,” said Coun. Gyula Kiss. The councillor said when the decision was made in 2005 to extend the sewer line, about $650,000 was used from a reserve that had been set up for the replacement of lift stations. Later, another $250,000 was used by the district to buy latecomer hookup fees from the developer of Coldstream Meadows. “The big problem was there was no new bylaw to recover the funds from the extension,” Kiss said. “(Council) feels now that we have sunk all this money into it, we should recover it and force all these homeowners to hook up.” Kiss said he was opposed to the initial extension of the line. He also mentioned that those who have not hooked up are still paying an additional $100 a year parcel tax.

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