–District of Sooke
District of Sooke Council voted March 29, 2016, to provide the required notice to EPCOR WATER (WEST) INC. (EPCOR) to advise that the District will not seek renewal of its operational contract for the wastewater system. The current agreement ends on Sept. 30, 2016. District staff and legal staff will immediately begin the six month process to transition operations and maintenance of the wastewater treatment system to the District.
A cost analysis on the District’s Operations and Maintenance Agreement (October 1, 2011) with EPCOR conducted by District staff concluded that the District will realize savings of up to $225,000 per year by assuming responsibility for the operations and maintenance of the wastewater treatment system.
“We would like to thank EPCOR for the service provided over the past 10 years,” said Acting Mayor Rick Kasper. “The operations, maintenance and administration of the wastewater treatment system will be coming into the District of Sooke and I encourage current EPCOR staff, who are working in Sooke to apply for these positions as they become available.”
Construction of the Sooke collection system and wastewater treatment plant began in 2004 and the system was commissioned in November 2005. Individual domestic and commercial connections began in January 2006 and continued throughout 2006 and 2007. Additional connections have continued since that time for new construction in the sewer specified area.
The Sooke wastewater collection and treatment system is owned by the District and has been operated by EPCOR since 2006 under two five-year contracts. The current contract calls for a six-month notice of non-renewal and lays out the transition requirement for a smooth turnover to the District. Currently, the District is responsible for all capital costs and any maintenance cost over $5,000.
“The bulk of the savings of bringing the operations, maintenance and administration of the wastewater treatment system into the District will be from avoiding ongoing management fees,” Kasper added.
Bringing the wastewater collection and treatment system operations and maintenance in house meets the District strategic plan goals of fiscal sustainability and excellence in management and governance. Total cost savings over a five-year period could total up to $1,127,630. These funds could be set-aside in a reserve fund with monies allocated to system improvements and projected growth.