During a council meeting on April 23, Lantzville councillors voted against a motion that called for any additional water within the municipal water system to be stored as a reserve. NEWS BULLETIN file

Water allocation measures rejected by Lantzville councillors

Motion was for planning purposes, to ensure that water goes to residents who need it, mayor said

A motion calling for restrictions on allocation of water in Lantzville was rejected by councillors last week.

During a council meeting on April 23, Lantzville councillors voted against a motion that called for any additional water within Lantzville municipal water system to be stored as a reserve, which could later be used for existing lots within the community. The motion also called for the restriction of additional water for new development or subdivision of any existing lots unless a series of conditions had been met. One of those conditions called for a detailed 10-year capital plan to be developed, which would include estimated costs, a timeline of water expansions water and anticipated funding sources.

Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime, who made the motion, told councillors that it had nothing to do with Nanaimo water agreement itself, but was more to do with planning and ensuring that water goes to residents who need it.

“If we connect to the City of Nanaimo that does free up some connections … yet if this about health and safety, if the aspect of being able to supply water to areas like Clark and Blackjack as well as the Winds, if that is going to be done, connections need to be saved to do that,” he said.

Coun. Will Geselbracht, who voted against the motion, said he was “baffled” by the motion’s timing.

“Why wasn’t a detailed capital plan thought about 10 years ago? Why wasn’t projected water user and parcel tax rates, thought about, put forward as a motion … discussed within the community 10 years ago?” he asked. “It seems rather ironic that it is only now when we are on the verge of finally identifying that sufficient water source … that this myriad of issues raises its head.”

Coun. Denise Haime, who voted in favour of the motion, said a previous water agreement with Nanaimo had included water to lower Lantzville but was shelved by the district’s chief administrative officer at the time and that the current agreement includes terms, such as the 50 new connections for development, that haven’t been fully explained. She said councillors have done little to help those in the community who are dealing with health and safety issues related to their water supply.

“We keep throwing out that is all about health and safety and yet we have done nothing here today that deals with health and safety,” she said, adding the motion would help address those concerns and doubts the water agreement would do that.

Councillors Mark Swain and Bob Colclough also voted against the motion. Coun. Dot Neary was absent.


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

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