Municipalities agree on water sharing deal

NANAIMO – Lantzville to pay all connection and distribution costs, money will be used to help pay for current projects.

Nanaimo and the District of Lantzville have completed an agreement that could see the city extend its water supply system to include its northern neighbour.

The agreement is the result of a 2005 memorandum of understanding signed between the two municipalities after Lantzville made a formal request to Nanaimo to extend its water supply to the district.

Since then, conditions of the agreement have been worked on but not finalized, though last year negotiations stalled altogether for several months because acceptable terms could not be agreed on, mostly over Nanaimo’s concerns about long-term water supply capacity.

Over the past few months, however, both parties managed to reach an agreement that includes: a 20-year renewable term; Lantzville will pay full costs of connecting to Nanaimo’s water system, plus all related distribution and water-usage costs; Lantzville will pay a connection charge of $5,912.26 for each residential, commercial or industrial premises; and Lantzville will have water conservation measures in place consistent with those of Nanaimo.

“The current proposal isn’t to supply the entire area of Lantzville, it’s to supply the area known as Upper Lantzville,” said Al Kenning, city manager for Nanaimo. “The actual demands on the city’s systems will be relatively limited in the short term at least. As well, I think it’s quite important that Lantzville has agreed to support Nanaimo’s applications to senior governments for additional water supply, which is important because when communities work together it makes for a stronger application.”

The agreement still requires approval by Nanaimo city council, which deferred voting on it Monday because Coun. Fred Pattje was not in attendance.

“This is an important issue and I think we want to have all councillors present when we vote,” said Coun. Diana Johnstone. Mayor John Ruttan, a resident of Lantzville, is expected to excuse himself from the debate and vote to avoid a conflict of interest.

The vote is expected to take place at the next scheduled council meeting.

Kenning added that, if council passes the agreement, an initial connection fee of about $1.3 million that Lantzville will pay to Nanaimo will go directly toward current water projects, such as the new water treatment facility, as will user rates, which will be the same as Nanaimo residents, and future connection fees.

Lantzville currently has a community water supply system made of up district-owned wells that services 225 properties in the community. The rest of the community, about 210 properties, relies on private wells.

The district’s wells are already running at capacity, said Twyla Graff, Lantzville’s chief administrative officer, and can’t service as many residents as it would like. Running at capacity also limits new development. Under the agreement, connections to new development will be limited to 50 per year.

“We are running at capacity, especially during the summer months, and have not authorized any new connections to our own community water system for a number of years,” said Graff.

The estimated annual consumption Lantzville is expected to put on the supply is equivalent to a little more than a day’s worth being consumed by Nanaimo residents. Other terms of the agreement ensure water will not be used for major agriculture production or golf courses; Lantzville cannot sell or permit the sale of bulk water or bottled water outside the municipality; and Lantzville will keep its existing wells operating at current levels.

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

Nanaimo Track and Field Club athletes are off to a fast start this season after no competition last season due to the pandemic. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo athletes back on track, starting with club competitions

Nanaimo Track and Field Club registration filled up

A conceptual rendering of a commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith image)
Commercial plaza in north end of Ladysmith passes public hearing

Councillors debate proposed land use at 1130 Rocky Creek Rd.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews on scene at a boat fire near the boat ramp at Long Lake on Sunday, June 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Boat burns up on Nanaimo’s Long Lake, man and child unhurt

Jet skiers attempt to put out fire by circling around to spray water on burning boat

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Most Read