Parksville’s Nov. 21 referendum being watched closely by Nanoose Bay residents

A 'no' vote could mean boil-water advisories for residents in both Parksville and Nanoose Bay

Regional District of Nanaimo Director Bob Rogers may be understating things a bit when he says Nanoose Bay residents have a “significant interest” in Parksville’s Nov. 21 referendum.

While it’s in dispute for some considering the age of the assent/borrowing bylaws and the change in the population in 20 years, Nanoose Bay residents passed a referendum two decades ago to allow for a loan to pay for their share of the Arrowsmith Dam, an intake and water treatment/storage.

Nanoose Bay taxpayers are on the hook for $7.7 million of the $28.3 million plan that’s on the table now. The amount of borrowing required is $2.6 million. A water fund surplus/reserves and grants will cover the rest of Nanoose Bay’s share.

Parksville must borrow $5.6 million to cover its 74 per cent of the costs and is going to the polls for permission. Nanoose Bay residents can only sit and watch. It’s unclear what would happen if the Parksville referendum fails.

“I’m hoping, and confident, they will approve it,” Rogers said this week. He also repeated his support for the current plan. “I think it’s an excellent project and I think it should go ahead.”

What happens if the referendum fails?

“If it does not pass then Parksville will have to bring it back to the next Englishman River Water Service (ERWS) board meeting and we’ll go from there,” said Rogers.

If the referendum doesn’t pass, roughly 18,000 residents of Parksville and Nanoose Bay could be facing constant boil water advisories.

Island Health has decreed that all surface (river) water headed to homes must be treated in a certain fashion by Jan. 1, 2017. The ERWS draws about 50 per cent of its water for homes from the Englishman River.

“If we don’t meet that deadline we won’t be able to use our surface water,” said City of Parksville operations manager Mike Squire. “If we do use it, and we will need to use it in the summer time, we will be basically in violation of the Health Act. The only thing we will be able to do, if we need it, which we will, is tell everyone ‘I’m sorry, you’re going to have to boil your water. And that’s just over a year from now.”

Assent Voting day — that’s what this referendum is officially called — is Saturday, Nov. 21. Parksville residents can vote at either the Parksville Community and Conference Centre (PCCC) or the Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church on Pym Street that day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voting will also take place in advance polls at the PCCC only from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today (Thursday, Nov. 12) and Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Those who want to cast a ballot must show up with two pieces of identification, one containing a name and address and the other with name and signature (examples include a B.C. driver’s licence, B.C. Care Card, birth certificate, passport). If you do not have documentation showing residency, then two pieces of identification (at least one with a signature) are still required and you will be asked to make a solemn declaration as to residency.

For questions about the voting process, call the chief electoral officer, 250-954-3070.

Just Posted

Search is on for parties to build $10.7M Bowser sewage project

Further investigation of land disposal option rejected by RDN board

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

Qualicum Beach doles out Community Awards

Jacobson is Citizen of the Year; new mayor Wiese named top newsmaker

Finalists announced for annual Business Achievement Awards

Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce honours individuals, businesses

Parksville artist aims to produce zero waste with creations, business

Margie Preninger even dabbled with dryer lint years ago

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

Regulator’s report unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline expansion battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Most Read