Snuneymuxw sewer-use agreement goes to vote

Regional District of Nanaimo directors are expected to vote on a sanitary sewer-use agreement with Snuneymuxw and City of Nanaimo.

Regional District of Nanaimo directors are expected to vote on a sanitary sewer use agreement with Snuneymuxw First Nation and City of Nanaimo at their regular meeting Tuesday.

According to the regional district, Snuneymuxw wants to provide sewer service to three of its reserves, situated along the Nanaimo River between Chase River and Duke Point.

Sean De Pol, regional district manager of wastewater services, said sewage from the reserves would be collected by a Snuneymuxw collection system. It would then go to the City of Nanaimo’s system and to the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Chase River pump station and onto the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre for treatment.

Under regional district bylaws, said De Pol, there are terms that allow properties to connect and the regional district to collect taxes, but First Nation properties do not fall under those bylaws and thus agreements are signed.

“We can’t simply service First Nations’ land under the existing bylaws that we have,” said De Pol. “We need to do it in a separate agreement.”

Snuneymuxw First Nation did not return requests for comment.

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