City of Nanaimo provides money for Terminal Avenue water study

NANAIMO – City council supports study aimed at removing environmental barrier to downtown re-development.

  • Jul. 8, 2015 1:00 p.m.

The City of Nanaimo will pony up more than $63,000 for a study aimed at removing one more environmental barrier in the way of downtown re-development.

Nanaimo politicians agreed to invest in a drinking water exemption study for the Terminal-Nicol corridor, the latest step the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association’s revitalization project. The city will also chip in $50,000 to the first phase of a street scape project, which will see residents prioritize what they’d like to see along the corridor, from improved sidewalks to trees and lighting.

It’s all part of a push started by the DNBIA three years ago to reinvigorate the stretch of highway along Terminal Avenue and Nicol Street where redevelopment has been challenged by the potential for contamination and costs to address it. An environmental assessment was launched in 2012 to look at what lies beneath properties along the corridor. Now, the association wants to undertake a $250,000 drinking water exemption study that if successful, could relax one of the most stringent contamination criteria. The work is anticipated to be paid for by landowners, like the municipality.

“[The city is] a big piece of the puzzle, but still only $60,000 of a quarter million,” said Darren Moss, chairman of the DNBIA’s planning, design and development committee. “Now we need to get the funds from the other property owners to get this underway.”

The study and application to the B.C. government is expected to take eight months once money is in place to do the work.