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

Maple Ridge tent city starts gofundme for its second winter

Gofundme page started for heaters, ducting.

AGM coming for Pitt Meadows Community Foundation

Foundation has been active, says president Terry Becker

Pop-Up Shoe Bank coming to Maple Ridge

The one day event will provide free shoes to those in need

Ridge RCMP officer chases down theft suspect

Allegedly caught in the act of theft from a vehicle

Ridge Meadows RCMP issue fines, seize pot, under new Cannabis Act

Unlawful supply of cannabis offence for over 30 grams

UPDATE: Pedestrian hit by train in Maple Ridge

Emergency responders on tracks along River Road

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Regulatory confusion over ‘toxic’ stink near Abbotsford school

Officials sniffing out which regulators responsible for enforcing compliance at neighbouring property

Most Read