News Bulletin file

Lantzville to explore water options for Winds neighbourhood

Council to examine possibility of creating local service area

The District of Lantzville will look into how much it might cost to bring water to one of its neighbourhoods.

Lantzville councillors, during their Sept. 30 meeting, voted unanimously to have district staff research the requirements and costs associated with creating a local service area in order to provide water to the Winds neighbourhood.

Local service areas or LSAs are specific geographical areas established by municipalities to provide services such as water or sewer according to the provincial government’s website. Services provided to these areas paid for entirely or partially by property owners located within an LSA through taxation.

In 2018, Lantzville council executed the Nanaimo-Lantzville water agreement following years of debate and delays. Although Lantzville paid the City of Nanaimo $1.33 million in exchange for water over a 20-year period, decisions about which communities will receive municipal water first haven’t been made.

Among the neighbourhoods where many residents are hopeful for municipal water is the Winds, an area located in upper Lantzville that encompasses Northwind, Southwind, Westwind and Eastwind Drives. For years, a number of residents in the Winds neighbourhood have been dealing with boron in their wells and other water-related issues.

RELATED: Lantzville votes to execute water agreement with Nanaimo

During Monday’s meeting, Mayor Mark Swain, who made the motion, said it was time for the residents in the Winds to determine what they want.

“I think the residents are owed at least the right to understand what it is going to take to get water there and how much it is going to cost,” he said.

Swain said the cost of bringing water to the neighbourhood could in fact be “quite high” but would get even higher if council continues to do nothing. He also said residents in the area should have the chance to decide whether they want a local service area or not.

Coun. Ian Savage called Swain’s idea an “important” first step that will provide council with the information needed to make long-term plans about water distribution in the neighbourhood. He said council must take action as they are all “committed” to providing water to the Winds.

“I certainly support this, there is nothing like taking action on things. Nothing happens until you take action and I dare say, no matter what the outcome of this is, we keep taking action until it gets done,” he said.

RELATED: Lantzville sends cheque to Nanaimo as water agreement flows

Coun. Karen Proctor called it a “good move” to start on costing options for the neighbourhood.

“I think having clean drinking water is a basic human right but I think it is also a safety issue for Lantzville because we don’t have fire hydrants in that area,” she said.

Coun. Will Geselbracht said with respect to the overall cost of providing water, there are options such applying for government grants. He said it’s been two years since council adopted the water master plan and that it is important for council to get an idea of what it might cost to provide water to the area.

“I’m going to support this. I originally thought it might be a bit premature, but it is going to take staff some time to come back to council and say ‘here are some options’ and I think it is important.”

Ronald Campbell, the district’s chief administrative officer, told councillors there have been discussions at the staff level about possibility of providing water to the Winds neighbourhood. He said the matter is more complex than it might seem as there are costs associated with bringing the main water supply line to the Winds and whether the main supply line would provide water to the Winds or to other areas of the community as well.

“There are a whole myriad of things that we would have to look into and come back to council in order to get the full picture, including potential grant funding,” he said.

RELATED: Lantzville declines residents’ request for cost estimate on water hookups

During public input portion of the meeting, Natasha Friesen, a resident of the Winds who has high levels of boron in her well water and has sought options to find another water source for years, told councillor she hopes to see water in her neighbourhood.

“We need affordable water for our neighbourhood and we need to have it before I have grandchildren…” she said. “I started talking about this seven years ago.”







nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Just Posted

Time to think about this year’s top teams and star athletes

Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards now accepting nominations

Island Health expanding baby bed program in Nanaimo

Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island provides grant of $350,000

Nanaimo Clippers score teddy bears, win one on weekend

Sean Donaldson scores Teddy Bear Toss goal

Snuneymuxw First Nation shuffles leadership with council election

Three incumbents return as five of 10 council seats contested

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Gas companies gouging

Gas station operators charge more for fuel in Nanaimo because they can, says letter writer

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Gogo’s tree farm celebrates 90th year of growing Christmas trees

Gogo Christmas tree farm has grown Christmas trees since 1929 and started U-cut business in 1984

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

Most Read