Parksville councillor’s resignation plays role in contentious vote on watermain routing

A motion to re-visit the costing of options was defeated after a 3-3 vote

The absence of Al Greir had a tangible effect on Trill Drive residents at Parksville city council’s meeting Monday night.

Coun. Leanne Salter introduced a motion Monday asking city staff to provide a cost analysis on routing a new water main on both the south and north sides of the E&N railway.

Council previously passed a motion to route the pipe on the north side, close to the property lines of some Trill Drive residents, a group that has been vocal in its opposition to the plan.

Salter said the motion was brought forward on Greir’s behalf.

The vote on the motion to provide the cost analysis and presumably re-visit the decision on the north-side routing tied 3-3, which meant it was defeated. Salter and councillors Teresa Patterson and Kirk Oates voted in favour of the motion. Mayor Marc Lefebvre and councillors Sue Powell and Mary Beil were opposed. Presumably Greir would have voted in favour.

City staff and Lefebvre said changing the routing that’s already been approved could cost the city more than $200,000 and could delay the project beyond a Sept. 2018 deadline created by Island Health demanding all surface water be treated.

The water main in question will go from the new intake location on the Englishman River to the Springwood well fields, using the railway right-of-way. It’s part of a $28 million project funded by the tax dollars from all three levels of government. City residents passed a referendum late last year (80 per cent in favour) that gave the city permission to borrow $5.6 million for its portion of the funding.

Trill Drive residents have been a fixture at city council meetings for months, hoping council would at first decide to route the pipe on the south side of the tracks, and then hoping the city would revisit the plan to go with the north side.

In making the motion on Monday night, Salter said when council voted in favour of the north-side plan, it did not have all the information it needed on options.

“We don’t have a true cost-out,” said Salter. “We never had one. And people who have brought up really good points have been dismissed.”

Oates agreed.

“I’ve asked the question many times — how much? — and I haven’t got an answer,” said Oates. “I think that as elected people we have to be responsible to the people who put us here.”

Powell said as a “lay person” she put her faith in staff’s recommendations on the routing of the water main. She said she still feels that way and she also said she hopes she has now seen the end of this routing debate.

“Staff has no reason to lie to us; staff has no reason to put something in writing that isn’t true,” said Powell. “I hope to God this is the last motion to come to this council dealing with this issue.”

Salter said the experience will change the way she views council votes in the future.

“I certainly won’t be making decisions quickly like I did before,” said Salter. “That was my error.”

• Other than words of thanks and praise for Greir — who resigned last week citing health concerns — there was no discussion Monday night about the timing of the byelection to fill his seat.

Just Posted

Concern over vaping grows in Parksville Qualicum Beach schools

Health officer says parents have ample reason to be concerned

Coombs Family Day Celebration cancelled

The large snowfall that hit Vancouver Island recently has led to the… Continue reading

Parksville Qualicum Beach residents advised to prepare for changing weather

Rising temperatures on Friday will produce snow, changing to rain with increasing snow melt

No specifics given for termination of Parksville CAO

Comis believes the decision was political

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Strangers save life of hiker in Cowichan

Hike up Cobble Hill Mountain turns into ambulance ride, surgery

Battling the dirty little secret of Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim

Illegal dumping the bane on Ucluelet and Tofino area backroads

Snow days prove costly for many workers

Employment Standards Act doesn’t cover businesses closed due to weather

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Most Read