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Friday, June 17, 2011

Referendum: Borrowing to build Water Treatment Facility

This issue just cropped up at a recent council meeting. Originally City Staff wanted to use the Alternative Approval Process; 10% of voters, over 6000, would have to vote against the borrowing in order for it to be defeated. This process sucks as even if one were not to vote either way it would be assumed as a vote for.

Fortunately council voted in favour of sending it to Referendum: simple majority of those voting on the issue determines whether the City borrows tyhe money or not.

Sent the following letter today:

I really have to question not only the rationale of borrowing money for but of the water treatment plant itself. Do we really need this plant; is a water treatment plant really the only option? Is it in fact a necessary piece of infrastructure? Is the city only proposing the building of a water treatment plant because the Vancouver Island Health Authority has told us we must?

How many other cities have been TOLD to build water treatment plants by VIHA and how many of these are complying? In the last 10 or 20 years how many water advisory notices have gone out to residents of the City of Nanaimo and how many of these have been boil water advisories?

If these plants are so necessary then why are higher levels of government not funding the total package instead of expecting the citizens of Nanaimo to come up with 73% of the cost? What is the penalty if we do not follow the mandate of VIHA?

I will readily admit to being an activist but ‘Cranky’ I think not. I believe there are many questions that need answers. I also believe the taxpayers of Nanaimo deserve straight answers to these questions and not the bafflegab we are used to getting from the powers that be.

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