How deep are your pockets?

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria is sure there’s an explanation, but the Capital Regional District sewer treatment cost estimates just don’t add up.

“Did CRD directors know exactly what they were voting for when they approved the largest project in the history of the region?” says Stan Bartlett, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$.

“The expert panel recommended one thing, then the CRD board approved something else all together different. Taxpayers want more explanation and transparency around a discrepancy between the two of as much as $180-million,” says Bartlett.

Ratepayers in the seven core communities will end up paying 100 per cent of any cost overruns, and on a mega project that could be substantial.

The cost estimates approved by the CRD board – based on the business case by  the Core Area Waste Water Treatment Project Board – differ by $108-million compared to estimates in the recommended business case. Plus whole life cycle costs for 25 years also differ substantially by about $73-million.

  • According to the CRD press release and comments on Sept. 14, based on the CAWTPB business case, the approximate cost of the sewage treatment mega-project is $765-million with $311 coming from the core seven communities.
  • The CRD says the $765-million includes $65-million spent to date, and $927-million for whole life cycle costs that are based over 25 years of operation (Business Case, Page 4).
  • On the other hand, the business case uses a detailed Class C cost estimate of $873-million for the CAWTPB recommended plan. Here, whole life cycle costs of $1.013-billion are estimated, but we don’t know if this includes the $65-million spent to date (Table 12, Pages 63-64, Option 8a Tertiary).

With two sets of estimates having a discrepancy of as much as $180-million, it’s far too early for taxpayers to celebrate a less expensive version of a sewage plant at McLoughlin Point.

References:   
 

CRD Approves Independent Project Board Recommendation for Core Area Waste Water Treatment , Sept. 15, CRD Press Release

CAWTPB, Project Board Documentation including Business Case

Stan Bartlett, Chair
grumpytaxpayers@telus.net
250.477.9907, cell 250.507.4394

John Treleaven, 1st Vice-chair
treleavengroup@shaw.ca
250.656.7899, cell 250.588.7899