Parksville resident Al Pastars asks a question during the recent ERWS meeting.

About 100 residents attend water meeting in Parksville

Video and lots of information from the meeting is available online

A long awaited town hall style meeting about Parksville’s $24 million water treatment plant attracted around 100 people to Knox United Church Thursday evening.

Mayor Marc Lefebvre gave a brief history of the project and scaled down “plan B,” which was developed when it became clear they couldn’t count on the traditional two thirds funding from provincial and federal governments.

The original 24 mega-litre per day intake would have met Parksville and Nanoose Bay’s water needs for an estimated 40 years for $37 million. The new $24 million plan for eight mega-litres will meet the needs for eight to 10 years before additions have to be made, according to the Englishman River Water Service.

Lefebvre said there will be a referendum late this year or early 2016 — depending when they find out about grants — on borrowing $5.4 million, which would mean a tax increase of 2.25 per cent from 2016-2024, an increase of $4.33 for the average house.

With over 20 members of the public taking to the mic to voice concerns and ask question, including some long speeches, the tone was generally civil and muted with most people agreeing a plant is needed — due to an Island Health decree that all surface water must be treated by 2017 — but many questioned the size, cost and number of options considered.

Some pleaded for a public water board to oversee the project and several spoke of the huge expense, suggesting we should build the smallest facility possible for now and leave the future costs to the future residents.

There was tension evident on council as Coun. Leanne Salter said several times she didn’t know how the intake location ended up so much further down the river than originally proposed, only to have Lefebvre repeat that it was the result of a well documented 10 year negation between Island Health, who wants it as far upstream as possible, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, who want it downstream.

For much more information visit www.englishmanriverwaterservice.ca, for a video check www.city.parksville.bc.ca in a few days.

Just Posted

Oceanside RCMP auxiliary officer earns top honour for volunteer work

Dally presented special award by Island Commander

Island residents team up on beach cleanups, call for government regulation

‘It’s way beyond what we can deal with’: Lasqueti, Texada, Denman islanders

‘A really kind person’: Parksville’s Nick Major remembered by instructor

Outpouring of support in the days following death of young man

Banners could add pop of colour to Parksville business district

District includes businesses between the Orange Bridge and McVickers Street

Last call for the ever-vanishing payphone in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Where many phones once resided, only memories remain

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Most Read