$10.7M Bowser sewer project discontinued

Scheduling, cost constraints see RDN pull the plug

The $10.7-million Bowser Village Centre sewer project has been discontinued.

The Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors conducted a lengthy discussion on the project in-camera at its regular meeting on March 26 and decided to stop the controversial sewer servicing project, due to scheduling and cost constraints.

The project was to include a collection system, wastewater treatment and effluent disposal for the Bowser Village Centre to support future growth in the Bowser Village area.

It was geared toward serving 99 parcels located in the village centre. In March 2017, it was awarded a $7.6-million joint Federal and Provincial Clean Water and Wastewater Fund grant to support the community’s evolution into a “compact, complete community.”

The grant was contingent on completing the project by March 31, 2020.

RDN general manager Randy Alexander said the original deadline was to have everything completed this year. They requested the federal and provincial governments for an extension of until the end of 2020 but were unsuccessful.

“Our consultants recognized that we needed that much time to finish the project, to construct it,” said Alexander. “They did extend it until March 31, 2020 but that was not sufficient. Our consultants said it’s just not possible to finish it.”

RELATED: Bowser residents say not to rezoning of lots for wastewater treatment plant

RELATED: RDN board adopts rezoning bylaw for Bowser Sewer

The balance of the cost of the project was to be paid for by four developers, who agreed to make advance payments on development cost charges for future developments, and through taxation. The four developers were A.G. Project Management Inc., owned by Alan Grozell; Coral Ice Developments, owned by Keith Reid; Ballard Fine Homes Ltd., owned by Donald Ballard; and James Walter Foulds and Lenny Agustin Foulds.

Alexander said that there was clause in the agreement that in case the project does not proceed, money that was contributed towards the project would be refunded to the developers.

“We will be working on them on that,” said Alexander. “Development will still proceed but it will be without a central sewer system. We will work with developers projects to work on how they can develop their properties.”

Although the discontinuation has future infrastructure servicing implications, the regional district has indicated it plans to continue to work with the property owners, provincial agencies and the community to support future growth in Bowser in accordance with the Electoral Area H (Shaw Hill, Deep Bay, Bowser) Official Community Plan.

The sewer project was significantly opposed by residents. Two groups, Stop Bowser Ocean Sewage (SBOS), and Area H Ratepayers and Residents Association, have been rallying diligently to stop the project.

Thomas Gates of SBOS said they are happy to hear the news but stressed that their goal was not about halting the entire project.

“We were never against the collection and the treatment and the development,” said Gates. “We were against the plan to discharge treated sewer into the ocean. That is all. We’ve always supported the businesses in the area and never gone after that part of it.”

Gates said it was all about being good stewards of the environment.

Alexander said with the project halted, the grant is no longer available to the regional district. If the Bowser community wants to start another sewage project in the future, the RDN would need to apply for grants again.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Just Posted

Oceanside RCMP: ‘Steal from cars, go behind bars’

Man in custody after pair of vehicles broken into in French Creek; officer breaks ankle during arrest

Large ‘problematic’ tree removed from Qualicum Beach golf course

Lombardy Poplar tree taken down by town, member upset

RDN to share cost of Parksville’s goose harvest

City asked regional district to pay one-third of $35K expense

SD69 students set new mark at Skills BC event

Three elementary schools reach medal podium

Parksville’s Arrowsmith Lodge and Cokely Manor celebrate 50 years

Week of ‘60s-themed activities starts on April 26

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Woman who was chased and tackled after break-in sentenced on Vancouver Island

Natasha Geraldine Harris, 28, was sentenced to time served and will be released from jail

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Most Read