Castlegar city council has instructed staff to look into putting an RV sani-dump near the Doukhobor Discovery Centre on Heritage Way, but not without reservations.
Overall, council was disappointed that there was not a viable option for the sani-dump closer to the city’s centre and shocked at the proposed $415,000+ price tag.
Several other locations were explored through a recent feasibility study, but all had drawbacks such as large RVs having to drive through residential areas and traffic flow problems.
The city has been researching if and where it should relocate a sani-dump after the previous city-owned dump at the Castlegar Visitor Centre was closed in order to make way for a new Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre building.
It is estimated that approximately 5000 users utilized the sani-dump each season and that a lot of that traffic was local residents, according to the Castlegar Chamber of Commerce.
The other locations that were considered were on the surplus airport lands, Columbia avenue across from Chopsticks and Millennium Park.
Heritage Way was suggested for several reasons including the close proximity of sanitary services, increased traffic to the Doukhobour Discovery Centre and plenty of room for users to line up. Staff also suggested signage could be installed at the site to direct visitors to the amenities the city has to offer.
Staff was questioned as to why the Castlegar Community Complex was not on the short list. The answer was that the city actually only owns a small part of the front parking lot, the rest of the land is owned by the Regional District. There is also no sanitary hookup available in the back section of the property where the most likely location would be.
Councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstibitoff voiced concerns about the Heritage Way location and traffic congestion at the site including vehicles making left hand turns across highway traffic to access the site.
She said she wasn’t sold on either the location or the price.
Councillor Dan Rye summed up that even though the option wasn’t perfect, he thought they should continue to fully study it because council had promised residents that they would look into building a new sani-dump.
In the end, council did vote to move forward with more detailed design studies and research into what kind of fees should be charged to use the facility.
Staff expects that the information should be ready in time for council’s 2023 budget deliberations.