I believe that the purchase of part of Maber Flats currently being considered by Central Saanich Council should be an election issue.
This is a very expensive purchase of land, cited at over $1 million dollars and the benefits of this purchase have not been made at all clear to me.
Our district’s own Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) has submitted a very cautionary report that includes comments that the purchase price is unrealistically high and that a limited budget did not allow for a thorough qualitative or quantitative analysis. The AAC also made suggestions of widening the creek banks and of a series of stepped water retention areas rather than the one large collection basin. I have seen no attempt by council to cost out these alternatives.
Many of the positive comments to the project mention that the property is recognized as one of the major wet land habitats on South Vancouver Island. If this is so, then its preservation should not be solely the responsibility of Central Saanich taxpayers.
The approaching municipal election provides an opportunity for a broader discussion of our District’s priorities and costs. Let the proposed purchase of Maber Flats be part of that discussion.