Question # 6 - Sewer or septic?
The truth is, I need more information. I think we all do and here is why:
When I chatted to those in Sage Mesa/West Bench, it sounded like the issue was less about the actual waste management system and more about perceived potential threats:
Uncontrolled development/subdivision and losing our rural character
The City of Penticton expanding its boundaries to include Greater West Bench (link)
We don't have any hard numbers. I know there are estimates (I don't know what the estimates were based on) but those estimates could not have included potential grants, partnership funding or a developer's proposal... because those funds are, so far, non-existent.
We also don't know if everyone would have to hook up or would there be a choice? Could you hook up later? Where would the infrastructure run? Would it reach all residents or just some?
The tax model of Regional Districts dictates that residents only pay for the services and service improvements that they receive. This is different than in Cities which have city budgets (tax dollars) for infrastructure improvements that all citizens pay into regardless of where the city improvements take place. So cost is very important to Area F because each property owner who uses a newly improved service will have to pay back their portion of the cost to improve the service on top of the monthly bill to use the service.
If, based on more data, the majority agrees to support sewer - it does not mean that we agree to uncontrolled subdivision. Area F can figure out the parameters of new zoning bylaws that makes sense to our communities and continue to protect the shared priority of the rural character of the Greater West Bench area.
So what do I support?
Collecting data and sharing the information with the communities so that residents can make decisions based on facts and not assumptions. I believe that just because we agree to 'explore' an idea does not mean that we have agreed to the idea. And, just because we say yes to one idea does not mean that we have to say yes to every possible idea that follows.
We can explore a feasibility study with a potential partner and still say no to the project if we decided it isn't the right fit for Area F.
As far as being amalgamated into the City... I will post on that tomorrow.
If I am elected, Area F residents will always have a say on issues or proposals that impact their communities.
Contact me anytime with your thoughts or questions and thanks for reading.