Lantzville council skips reservoir staff report

NANAIMO – Councillors say information can come at any time without formal report from staff

Lantzville councillors have decided not to bother with getting a staff report on the Aulds Road reservoir replacement.

Councillors voted 4-2 against a motion calling for an in-depth report on the reservoir during Monday’s council meeting.

Had the motion been approved, staff would have been required to provide councillors with information on when such a replacement would occur, where the reservoir would be located, how much it would cost, and how it would be paid for.

The motion also asked for specific information regarding whether a third pressure zone might be needed after the Lantzville-Nanaimo water deal has begun as well as how much a third reservoir would cost.

Coun. Mark Swain, who voted against the motion, told councillors while he could support the first portion of the motion, he felt the additional information could simply be provided to councillors by staff at any time, adding that he believed much of the information is related to the upcoming water master plan.

“I don’t think it is a bad request to get some information about the Aulds Road reservoir and when it is slated for replacement and so forth, but the rest of the motion I can’t support,” Swain said.

Coun. Denise Haime supported the motion. She said that while council should be waiting for the water master plan, it is not and as a result, information should be gathered about the reservoir.

“This is important information that I think we need to know in order to make it work,” she said.

Mayor Colin Haime voted against the motion. He argued that there is nothing stopping councillors from getting updates from staff members through other lines of communications.

“Staff will reply and that is not in-camera information, so we are free to share that information with other interested parties in the community,” he said.

He also said the last two portions of the motions pertaining to a third pressure zone and reservoir can be addressed through the water master plan.

“That is what the water master plan is about to deal with,” he said.

Coun. Will Geselbracht, who also voted against the motion, later told the News Bulletin that district staff are already overwhelmed and that the report was unnecessary.

“Right now our staff are faced with a shortage of staff to do the work that they currently have before them and I didn’t feel that report warranted any further staff time,” he said.

Coun. Dot Neary also voted against the motion while Coun. John Coulson supported it. Coun. Bob Colclough was absent.