IN THE SPOTLIGHT MAY 22: And the Christina Lake sewer system survey says …

A few months ago, the RDKB, at the request of the Area C director, sent out surveys to property owners at Christina Lake.

A few months ago the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), at my request, sent out surveys to all property owners at Christina Lake.

Thank you to all who took the time to fill out the survey, either by email, online or mail.

Before we discuss the results, let me give a little background.

In the past few years, we had many community meetings for various reasons, including presenting the annual budget.

It never fails that many people will make statements about a sewer system for Christina Lake and want to know why we have not taken that step.  After many, many comments like, “If we had a sewer system we wouldn’t have a problem with the lake,” and “Christina Lake should have put a sewer system in years ago” and “All the old cabins on the lake are causing a problem.

“If we had a community system everyone would have to hook up, especially on the south end of the lake.”

Thus the following survey was sent out, including the results of a study completed 22 years ago, which cited the cost of a system for the core area of the south end and Lavalley Point to be in the order of $7 million (1992 estimate).  The questions on the survey were as follows:

Would you like the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary to commission a feasibility study to investigate the costs and benefits of establishing a community wastewater collection and treatment system for Christina Lake?

The options were Yes, No and I need more information.

If yes, for all of Christina Lake or just South End and Lavalley Point?

Some were very helpful, others were extremely nasty and used this to vent frustration on everything from water districts to taxation. I note that there is still much confusion on taxation that goes to the province and regional district taxation, even though I had numerous meetings to clarify this, including a presentation on incorporation. I also clarify that the RDKB does not have anything to do with the water districts.

Then it gave all ways to return the survey, including online, email, mail or fax.

Of interest with the returns are the comments ranging from “Seriously think your priorities are out of sync” to “Why you are doing this work for a developer” to “This would cause higher density on Christina Lake.”

Just to clarify, I am not doing any work for a developer, rather I am asking the question you keep asking me. It seems that the simplicity of the question was lost on some people. All I was asking is, “Are you interested in an updated feasibility study?” As to the density on the lake, our zoning prohibits further splitting of lots on the lakeshore. For further clarification, I am not saying I want to do a feasibility study, I was asking “you” the citizens if you want an updated one. This is part of asking the people of Christina Lake what their wishes are and keeping everyone in the loop. Also, just to note, the lake tests for water quality are very good and they are presented every year at the Christina Lake Stewardship annual review.

So here are the results:

Yes: 341, No:  432 and need more info: 98

Mailed out 1,869, Returned responses 865

Here is my final comment. I will continue to ask your feedback on matters, such as this, as I believe that some of you want that involvement. To those who were rude and impolite, shame on you! No wonder many good people won’t put their name on a ballot.

To those who understood the simplicity of the survey, provided good constructive feedback and answered the questions, thank you so much. It is your contribution that is important to me.

In the next few months we will see if any further surveys come back before we make a final decision.

– Grace McGregor is Area C director for the RDKB