Hart LAS No Slam Dunk
Prince George BC – Familiar questions and concerns have been raised at a public meeting about the installation of sewer service to some Hart Highlands properties.
The proposed project would be phase 4 of the installation of a sewer line, and would connect with properties on
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In all, there are 106 properties that could be brought on line, if the residents agree to go ahead.
Cost is a major factor, as under a Local Area Service agreement, each property owner would be expected to pay a maximum of $27 thousand dollars, which could be repaid to the City over 20 years. There’s also a connection fee which residents would have to carry on their own and that cost could range between $2 thousand and $5 thousand dollars, depending on the lay out of their lot.
But as has been the case in the first three phases, the matter of promises made when the Hart was amalgamated with the City of Prince George, came to the surface. Residents wanted to know what happened with the promise of sewer service they say was made at the time of amalgamation? What happened to the dollars that were set aside for that infrastructure? “It is irresponsible” said one woman, who is concerned that approving the Local Area Service to have her home connected to the sewer system will cost her $150 dollars a month for the rest of her life.
The meeting also showed a split between those who are in the older homes in the neighbourhood and those who have built more recently and have younger septic systems.
In order for the project to move forward, petitions must be signed and returned to the City. A signed petition form is a vote in favour of the project. The number of petitions received must be from at least 50% of the property owners, representing at least 50% of the total assessed value of the 106 properties.
The City is sending petition forms to residents this week, and has set a deadline of 5p.m. July 31st for the return of those forms. Although one person has raised a concern about the petition period being in July, when many are taking holidays, City representatives say they have allowed this petition period to be longer than the norm and will email the forms to those who would like to receive it, sign it, and mail it back to the City by the given deadline.
Even if the petition results in the project moving forward, construction would not start until 2018 and would be done over 2 to three years.
They did ours last year. Thus far the city has been long on promises and short on results. Consultation – at least enough to get the votes, then ignored and treated like mushrooms. I’d be wary and get all consultations/promises in writing or video’d. Some at city hall will happily ignore you after they get the votes. That being said – the city crews have been fantastic. The management has been terrible.
Yes…. absolutely TRUE. In my humble, taxpaying opinion. The crew people have been exceptional. However, management is hopelessly busy justifying their paycheques while scurrying around avoiding detection or real accountability . They really couldn’t find their own parts with both hands and a flashlight.
I don’t like talking like this, but it just seems to be getting worse and worse. They appear to constantly hire assistants for the existing assistants to the assistants. WTF ??
Very frustrating indeed to be treated with indifference and disrespect. Sometimes it appears that taxpayers are a dime a dozen, so why listen to them at all ?
“What happened to the dollars that were set aside for that infrastructure?”
The amalgamation conditions set out by the Barrett government were unmistakable: the city would receive several million dollars if the amalgamation vote was in favour. The amalgamation went ahead. It was specifically for sewer installation in all the Hart Highlands. We paid instead the added taxes over the next many years and the connection fee in 1981!
The proposed taxpayer cost for connection was estimated at between $2K – $7K.
The estimated max cost to each homeowner is estimated to be $27K, payable outright or on yearly taxes @ $1815.00 per year for 20 years, based on 3% interest. On top of that is the twice-yearly sewer tax (forget exactly what is was called) of $222.60. So, if you have a complex grade situation like me, you plan of the $7K expense. If I choose to defer over 20 years, in the first year I will pay $7,000 plus an extra $2260.00 on my taxes (2 X $222.60 + $1815.00) = $9260.00. This does not include remediation cost of my lawn and possibly my driveway.
If I defer, then for the next 20 years of paying my taxes, I will pay an extra $45,200.00 (20 X $2260.00 = $45200.00). This does not take into account the escalation of the twice-yearly sewer tax over that time. I can put in a new septic system for much less than $52,000.00.
On top of this, the consensus was that for those houses that have gone through the first three LAS stages, their property values did not increase at all, and it was not much of an added selling feature over having a septic system.
I have been in the house for 40 years – when I bought it the talk was that we would have sewer within five years. It would have been considerably cheaper in the ’80’s.
What did the city do with the money that was supposed to be for sewers?
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