The Annacis Island sewage treatment plant in Delta uses improved secondary treatment. Two other plants – Iona and Lions Gate – use only primary treatment but are scheduled for major upgrades that will drive up sewage fees across the region.

Metro Vancouver redraws sewage fee formula ahead of soaring costs

New allocation of costs for treatment plant doesn't go as far as North Shore wanted

Metro Vancouver’s board voted Friday to overhaul its formula for regionally sharing the astronomical costs of new sewage treatment plants, but stopped short of providing the level of relief sought by Vancouver and the North Shore.

In a 64-60 weighted vote, directors from Surrey, Burnaby and the Tri-Cities carried the day, insisting the revised formula must be more fair to their residents than staff had proposed.

The new projects – the replacement of first the Lions Gate and then the Iona sewage treatment plants at a combined cost of perhaps $1.6 billion – will dramatically drive up Metro sewage fees, particularly for residents in the benefitting areas of the North Shore and Vancouver.

Their representatives wanted 70 per cent of capital costs of all future projects to be spread across the region, while 30 per cent would fall on the local area.

Instead, the compromise formula that passed gives more credit to contributions to past projects by cities in the eastern parts of the region.

Under the new formula:

• North Shore annual sewage fees are expected to rise from $267 now to $715 by 2030.

• Fraser sewerage area homes (Surrey, Burnaby, Tri-Cities and other eastern cities that use Annacis) go from $182 now to $319 by 2030.

• Vancouver fees go from $197 to $495.

• Lulu Island sewerage area (most of Richmond) goes from $247 to $471.

The staff-recommended formula would have spread the pain further yet, cutting 2030 costs on the North Shore to $678 per home and raising them slightly elsewhere.

“I don’t think that’s right, I don’t think that’s fair to the people in my community,” said Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan.

He said Burnaby and cities to the east have paid more for years for secondary treatment at the Annacis Island treatment plant, which Vancouver and the North Shore refused to contribute extra to then.

“I’d like to see Vancouver and the North Shore reimburse those of us who have been paying more for decades,” added Richmond Coun. Harold Steves.

Vancouver Coun. Raymond Louie urged directors to agree to the 70-30 formula to level the playing field and ensure the same battle isn’t refought again in a decade or so when Annacis needs to be expanded.

If Metro directors had refused any change in the formula, North Shore fees would have hit $834 per home by 2030.

Even with the compromise formula, North Vancouver District Mayor Richard Walton said he doesn’t look forward to explaining to North Shore residents why it will cost so much more to flush a toilet there than south of the Fraser.

Walton said they might well wonder why South of Fraser residents pay the same price for water as residents of the North Shore, where the water comes from.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey man charged after dangerous driving incident in Vancouver

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Surrey RCMP provide summer safety tips as school lets out

Police say they will continue to ‘proactively engage’ with youth in a number of programs this summer

Former Surrey man charged with fraud, theft and using forged documents

Johny Panyavong, 26, was arrested in Ontario on June 18 and released on $5,000 bail in Surrey

Cloverdale hockey player heads to World Cup in Czech Republic

Gavin Pooni, 15, will play for Team Canada West

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

B.C. senior’s car vandalized for more than 18 months

Retired RCMP officer determined to catch ‘tagger.’

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Man arrested for alleged indecent act after ‘predatory’ SkyTrain incident

A woman had reported the man had exposed himself while on the train on April 29

Two helicopters reportedly seized by RCMP near U.S. border south of Cultus Lake

Federal Mounties mum on raid two weeks after dramatic raid reported by Columbia Valley residents

Most Read

l -->