Hart Highlands Phase 2 More Expensive
Hart Highlands property owners fill school gym to hear about phase 2 – photo 250News
Prince George BC- Phase 2 of a sewer line installation in the Hart Highlands is estimated to cost $2.89 million dollars. If shared by owners of 100 properties that would work out to about $29 thousand dollars each which is about twice the amount paid by their neighbours who were in phase one.
Phase 1 was completed last fall and while originally estimated to cost each property owner $24 thousand dollars, the final price tag ( not including connection fees or landscape repairs) was closer to $15 thousand dollars.
There are several reasons for the increase say City Staff, including more curves and intersections in the Phase 2 area, longer distance to cover, challenging elevations, underground hydro and cable lines.
The matter of longer distance was pressed by one resident who indicated she did not believe she should have to pay a portion of the cost to bring that sewer line past the City owned tennis court or the SD57 owned school.
Area residents are not happy. The area has been waiting a long time to be added to the City sewer line, many say it was a promise made at the time of amalgamation, but nearly 40 years later, the terms have changed. What was once promised as a City installed infrastructure, is now a project the property owners would be expected to pay for.
The City is pondering an application for a grant which could ease the cost. City staff favour applying for the Fraser River Bench remediation project saying it is shovel ready. Staff explained drainage has caused severe erosion and the banks of the Fraser are sliding into the river. It is a situation that could pose a risk to public safety and if not addressed, the City could face the wrath of Fisheries and Oceans for damage to the riparian habitat. “How long have they been waiting for that project?” asked one resident. “Since 2009” was the reply…a reply which sent a ripple of laughter through the near capacity crowd. The Hart Highlands residents say they have been waiting 38 years.
Staff explained there will be a special meeting of Council on Tuesday Feb.10 at which time Council will decide which project they will approve for the grant application. If Council chooses the Hart Highlands project there would be a formal petition delivered to residents. The project would move forward if it was approved by 50% of the residents representing 50% of the total assessed values. If Council selects the other project, Hart Highlands residents will be surveyed to see if they want to carry on with proceeding to the more formal petition.
Mayor Lyn Hall, Councillors Garth Frizzell, Susan Scott, Terrie McConnachie, and Jillian Merrick all attended the Hart Highlands meeting last night. Mayor Hall says there is no doubt about it, the special meeting on Tuesday will see Council making an important and difficult decision “The decision will be whether or not we proceed with applying for a grant under the Build Canada Fund for the Fraser River Bench reclamation project , or if we take a look at the phase two Hart Highlands sewer project apply for that, so it’s a big decision”. There is a hitch though, in that regardless of which project Council opts to make the subject of a grant application, there is no guarantee the application will be successful. “There are two things, there is no guarantee the application we put in will be accepted, and the other thing is there is no guarantee on the level of funding. We know it’s a third, a third, a third, the Province, feds and City, but we don’t what that looks like as far as a dollar value. They could say yes to a particular project , and we say it’s worth ( for example) a million five, , and they may come back and say, ‘well we’re prepared to do this’ and it may be well below the million five, so it really is a roll of the dice when we put an application in to see how much they (senior government) are going to provide us.”