Union Bay and Hart Creek Stream Keepers

From a Union Bay Resident;

Just this fall, maybe a month ago, I was thrilled that there were a few scattered salmon forging their way up washer creek to start the life cycle all over again!  I hadn’t ever seen such a welcome sight there!  The River was coming back to life!

Found this article from;

Article from the February 2018 issue of Down By The Bay, the Union Bay Community Center Newsletter

There is a lot of work and effort by many people and volunteers,  Project Watershed NAP shared their study.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BweFbT60gjknbGRTVUNsODZxZ0hBQW1FTDFYdXpTekV2UlBV/view

Archived – Hart (Washer )Creek Rechannelling Project Union Bay BC https://www.acee-ceaa.gc.ca/052/details-eng.cfm?pid=12579

Reasons for a Federal Assessment

On June 30, 2005, it was determined that an environmental assessment was required in relation to the project because Fisheries and Oceans Canada considered taking action in relation to subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act.

Project Description (as posted in the Notice of Commencement)

The section of Hart Creek between Highway 19A and Baynes Sound flows along the western edge of a waste coal pile. From approximately 1888 to 1960 this site was used to process and ship coal from the mines in Cumberland. This acitivity resulted in the large accumulations of waste coal located on this site today. The section of Hart Creek subject to this proposal flows along the western edge of this waste coal pile. The objectives of this proposal is to; – Reduce erosion of the waste coal pile and resultant sediment load to the creek and foreshore. – Stabilize streambanks and slopes, and – Maintain the current streamflow conditions and aquatic habitat suitable for salmonid migration, rearing and spawning , and the present macroinvertebrate assemblage. A section of the stream was confined and redirected inot a wood flume which, today, is in disrepair. There is considerable sloughing along much of the 150 m long reach. The proposl is to create a new channel, away from the coal pile, complete with LWD, root wads, boulder and gravel placement plus a 15m riaprian area on each side of the stream. That portion of Hart Creek (also known as Washer Creek) located between highway 19A and Baynes Sound, Union Bay BC.

Final Decision

A decision was taken on August 2, 2005 and was that the authority may exercise any power or perform any duty or function with respect to the project because, after taking into consideration the screening report and taking into account the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, the authority is of the opinion that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.

Now about that treated effluent;

The Ministry has received a final application package from Kensington Union Bay Properties GP Limited for registration under the Municipal Wastewater Regulation for a seasonal discharge of up to 1,875 meter cubes per day of treated municipal sewage to Hart Creek during the months of October through May with storage and reclaimed water use during the rest of the year.

Union Bay Water Treatment Plant Update

I sent the following email enquiry, to Koers Engineering

Good Morning,

Thank you for the Update photos regarding the Union Bay Water Treatment Plant and I have the following questions ; Could you describe the  Clearwell Hatch and what is its purpose? The reservoir piping looks like it has an inlet and outlet with a by-pass, what are the sizes of pipes? Is the holding tank for sanitary sewage?

Thanks in advance, Union Bay …..Paul Allard Resident and landowner

Hi Paul,

Thank you for the email. I would be happy to sit down and spend 10 minutes with you to answer your questions below.It would be best if you could drop by my office and look at the plans with me.Please let me know when it is a good time for you to stop by.

Regards, Ken Doll  P.Eng.

Guess I’m going on a road trip… December 11th to Parsville

Union Bay Improvement District Budget Questions

While we were stringing Christmas lights my neighbour asked did Christmas come early for Union Bay Improvement District. Curious, I asked what he meant. He then went on to blurt out the 2020 Budget amounts the Administration, Water and Fire Departments. So, I decided I would go get some answers.

Union Bay Improvement District 2019 approved Budget
Union Bay Improvement District 2020 approved Budget

From another concerned Union Bay Resident,

Land owners biggest concern about the 2020 budget should be Administrative remuneration.

                             2020            2019         2018         2017        2016

Public works—151,300     138,039      89,701    67,365     66,500

Fire rescue—– 50,433         46,013       29,000     24,616    24,300

 Total               201,733        184,052     118,701     91,981    90 800

That is over a 100% increase in three years since the current administration has been in place,

In 2016 the administrator attended the office 40 hours per week as well as regularly scheduled board meetings, committee meetings, the AGM and any other meeting. An office clerk worked part time and their total remuneration was

$90,800.

In 2019 The UBID web site Office Hours states

Tuesday to Thursday 9:00 am- 4:00 pm

{Closed over lunch from 12 noon to 1:00 pm}

Closed Monday and Friday

In 2019 nobody knows how many hours the CAO works for UBID. Nobody knows what remuneration he receives or what the benefits are. 

UBID has a deputy CAO. No one knows the days or hours worked, the salary paid or the benefits.

UBID also employs a part time office clerk, no one knows the days or hours worked, the remuneration paid, or the benefits received.

The budget remuneration for 2020 is $201,733.                                                                                            

Being transparent and honest the UBID should disclose this information to landowners.

 The same information should be provided for the Public Works staff and the fire department, their budgets has increased dramatically as well.

Good afternoon Trustee Vandenberg,

I have some questions on the 2020 Budget.  The 3 admin office staff received an increase of $17,681.63 in the 2020 budget, over the 2019 budget. Who got what portion of that increase? Waterworks renumeration, went from $121,191. in 2019 to $179,415.25 in 2020 an increase of $58,224.25. Was for a new employee for the new treatment plant employee? Fire department went from $73,430. in 2019 to $119,000. in 2020. An increase of $45,570! Why?

Respectfully submitted, Paul Allard resident and Landowner

Union Bay Improvement District & Water Meter Reader Question.

Response from original posting on November 7th Union Bay Improvement District Conundrum

From Trustee Vandenberg

Hello Paul.

No new positions for water meter reader have been posted because there are none. Any permanent position even though part time would be be posted.

This was a case of a regular employee not being available, on short notice, and it seems only for a day. There is nothing in our policies or bylaws that I can find that prevent the admin from hiring a sub for a temporary job when needed and it is time sensitive. I’m not sure who the temp was but it was not a member of my family.

Sorry my response was a little slow but I have been rather busy.Hein Vandenberg

Union Bay starts to take notice of proposed sewage effluent discharge study

The CVRD is aware that Union Bay Estates is proceeding with an application for registration under the Municipal Wastewater Regulation (MWR) for a seasonal discharge of treated effluent to Hart Creek.

I found some past studies that will interest you. Royston/Union Bay Sewage Collection, Treatment& Discharge Study, September 2005 and CVRD South Regional Sewage Collection, Treatment and Discharge Study April 2011

https://www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/sites/default/files/docs/Projects-Initiatives/13-ss_2011_south_region_sewage_collection_treatment_discharge_study_0.pdf

https://www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/sites/default/files/docs/Projects-Initiatives/16-ss_2005_royston_unionbay_sewage_collection_treatment_and_discharge_study_w.pdf

Union Bay a seasonal discharge of treated effluent to Hart Creek.

This is an except from a landowner and resident of Union Bay email;

“The CVRD is aware that Union Bay Estates is proceeding with an application for registration under the Municipal Wastewater Regulation (MWR) for a seasonal discharge of treated effluent to Hart Creek.

The discharge of treated effluent to the environment is regulated by the Province of British Columbia under the MWR. The MWR registration process does not provide opportunity for regional district input however, First Nations referral is required as noted in the response below.

The CVRD is currently reviewing the developers proposed method of treatment and discharge for compliance with the Master Development Agreement. The MDA and information on current site activities can be found on our website at the following link: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/projects-initiatives/past-current-projects/union-bay-estates

From another resident;

“Are you aware of this application?  Our understanding is that the provincial government banned any disposal of treated or untreated sewage into Baynes Sound.  Therefore, why would the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy entertain accepting and reviewing an application for the purpose of sewage disposal?

To put the amount into perspective the new storage water storage tank has a capacity of 1728 cubic meters.

Union Bay Improvement District new Water Storge Tank

Dear Ms. Mamoser,

I am a Landowner in Union Bay and was surprised when I received a copy of an email that Union Bay Estates, AKA Kensington Union Bay Properties final application package that will have a seasonal discharge of 1,875 cubic meters per day for eight months of the year.

The https://www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/projects-initiatives/past-current-projects/union-bay-estates. link does not work.My questions are ,Who is the contact for CVRD? Where can I find more information about the final application package?

FACT……………………….

Bings, Dan P ENV:EX <Dan.Bings@gov.bc.ca>
Date: Mon., Nov. 25, 2019, 12:59 p.m.
Subject: 2019-11-25 Kensington Union Bay Properties Sewage Discharge
To: >

Dear XXXXXX

Thank you for your email of November 4, 2019, addressed to the Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, regarding sewage in Union Bay. Minister Heyman has asked that I respond on his behalf.

The Ministry has received a final application package from Kensington Union Bay Properties GP Limited for registration under the Municipal Wastewater Regulation for a seasonal discharge of up to 1,875 meter cubes per day of treated municipal sewage to Hart Creek during the months of October through May with storage and reclaimed water use during the rest of the year.

The proposed discharge would serve a commercial and residential development in Union Bay subject of a Master Development Agreement with the Comox Valley Regional District. More information on the project from the regional district can be found at: https://www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/projects-initiatives/past-current-projects/union-bay-estates.

The Ministry’s next steps are a comprehensive review of the application for compliance with the Municipal Wastewater Regulation including review of the Environmental Impact Study, and First Nation consultation.  Questions regarding the review of this application may be directed to Melanie Mamoser at Melanie.Mamoser@gov.bc.ca.

Thank you again for taking the time to write.

Regards,

Dan Bings