Financing strategy takes shape for implementing replacement sewage treatment plants in Metro Vancouver
Reference Panel provides Metro Vancouver Finance Committee with advice on a path forward
Metro Vancouver is faced with a $1.4 billion financing decision on HOW to proceed with replacement of the existing Lions Gate and Iona Island treatment plants that serve the North Shore and Vancouver sewerage sreas, respectively.
In November 2009, the Metro Vancouver Board considered the recommendation of its Waste Management Committee and referred the matter to the Finance Committee for guidance on how to move forward .
Wrestling with the Financing Challenge
During the period January through April 2010, the financing challenge has been the top item on the Finance Committee’s agenda. At two of the three monthly meetings, the Liquid Waste Reference Panel has reported out.
“Our role is to provide informed and independent advice. We are in a position to do that because we are neither staff nor hired guns. We are community-based. The Reference Panel was appointed by the Board and we report directly to the regional politicians,” states Kim Stephens, Chair.
Sequencing of Construction
“We have recommended that Metro Vancouver resolve to complete Lions Gate by 2020; and further, that Metro Vancouver complete Iona Island at the earliest time after completion of Lions Gate,” states Christianne Wilhelmson, Co-Chair. “The region needs to start now to complete front-end tasks that will ultimately expedite completion of Iona Island.
“This approach gives Metro Vancouver the flexibility to go faster, but does not strap us in if the senior governments do not come to the table with financial support. In the absence of a financial guarantee, this approach puts the ball in our court with respect to timing,” stated Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore at the April meeting of the Finance Committee.
Links to previous stories on Water Bucket