A recently completed water pipeline linking Nanaimo and Lantzville was unveiled by local politicians at a ceremony Monday morning.
The event, which was attended by politicians from both municipalities, took place nearly three months after Lantzville councillors approved the construction of 980 metres of water pipeline from 7075 Lantzville Rd. to Schook Road for a cost of $633,360.
Although the new pipeline physically connects to Nanaimo’s water system, no water will be flowing Lantzville’s way as councillors still need to approve triggering the Lantzville-Nanaimo water agreement that was signed in 2014.
Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay said the project is an example of two municipalities working together.
“It’s two municipal governments working together from a regional perspective and helping each other out to supply something that is extremely valuable,” he said.
Coun. Will Geselbracht called the event a great day for Lantzville.
“This shows what can happen when you have co-operation between the municipalities,” he said.
Coun. Bob Colclough said the pipeline is a long time coming and that it is needed badly as a backup.
“Whether our water supply gets contaminated or there is a major fire or whatever we now have access to an additional supply,” he said.
However, Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime called the project premature because the district is currently establishing a water master plan and are waiting for the results of their wellfield re-evaluation.
“It will raise hopes for individuals that water will be at their door in a very short period of time when there is actually still a lot of work that needs to be done,” he said.
Haime said he disputes the idea that the pipeline was constructed as a backup plan and believes it was approved by councillors in an effort to pander to developers.
“It’s a million dollar piece of pipe that was promoted by some councillors as insurance, well when I go to insure my car I don’t buy a second car and put it in my driveway,” he said.
Coun. Denise Haime said she hopes the pipeline will provide water to existing residents before any new development occurs.
“I definitely support water in Lantzville to residents and that’s the key. We do know there are residents in Lantzville that are struggling with water … so if this can get water to existing residents that are struggling, then well done,” she said.