Saltair taxpayers need more information

Lynne Smith is concerned taxpayers are being asked to commit to a large investment in the Saltair water system without all the details.

Editor:

I remain concerned that Saltair taxpayers are being asked to commit to a large investment in the Saltair water system without being given the details of the limited upgrades being proposed.

The cost estimates detailed in the Information Booklet are from a 2008 study. As no allowance has been made for four years of inflation, will taxpayers be asked to contribute more later to compensate for higher labour and material costs?

The Petition Letter from the Cowichan Valley Regional District [CVRD] also intonates that all old asbestos cement pipes will be replaced.

In fact, the plan is to only replace 3.4 kilometres of piping.

While engineering staff are unable to provide the total length of water pipes in the Saltair system, rough calculations based on the water piping map indicate approximately 35 kilometers of pipe.

This means that only about 10 per cent of pipes will be replaced. What is the plan for the remaining 90 per cent?

While I recognize that water line replacement is needed in Saltair, I am concerned about the vagueness and ambiguity of the information being distributed to taxpayers.

There seems to be a lack of transparency and/or inadequate research by CVRD staff and the Area Director prior to undertaking such a large project.

We need more information before approving more than doubling our parcel taxes.

Lynne Smith

Saltair