Plan B for Parksville’s water treatment plant now up to $28 million

City council will have a chance to approve the new plan in meetings this month

The elimination of a controversial aquifer storage and recovery system is one change residents learned about last week when the Englishman River Water Service board passed motions forwarding a new water treatment facility plan to Parksville city council.

The project, if approved by council and the regional district, calls for the $28.3 million facility to be completed by June of 2018. City of Parksville taxpayers are on the hook for 74 per cent of the cost. The balance is for Nanoose Bay.

This comes after the federal and provincial governments each kicked in $3 million in taxpayer funds for the project last month.

Parksville will use its portion of that grant money, along with reserve funds, an increase in water rates and borrowing of $5.6 million to fund its portion of the project. That borrowing must be OK’d by the electorate through a referendum, currently scheduled for Nov. 21.

The water-rate increase for the average Parksville home is estimated to be $10/year.

After it was clear last year the project was not going to enjoy the traditional two-thirds funding from senior governments, it was scaled back to about $24 million (from $37 million), a Plan B that eliminated the aquifer storage and recovery system (ASR) some observers said was untested and risky. Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre, who previously touted the ASR system, said it “could be revisited at another time.”

Englishman River Water Service program manager Mike Squire explained to the board on Thursday that the uncertainty of climate change and the need to conform with Island Health requirements means the new plant needs more capacity.

It needs to provide a minimum of 16 million litres a day of what’s called firm membrane filtration. That’s double the eight million litres a day in the original Plan B and account for the additional $4 million, said Squire.

In his report, Squire also said he believes issues related to the intake location on the Englishman River have been settled.

“All indications right now are that we have fully met DFO requirements,” he said. “We feel we are in a very good position to submit a full application (for the intake to the DFO).”

Squire also said the intake has been designed to take into account drought conditions like the region is experiencing this year.

“This is an exceptional year, a one in 100,” he said. “But some might say this is the new norm.”

In three meetings this month, city council is expected to vote on accepting the new plan, giving it final approval and settling on the wording for the referendum.

Lefebvre said it’s possible more senior-government funding could be available and he said he would be meeting with Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan about that possibility in the next two weeks.

Just Posted

Thirty trees destroyed in Parksville’s Cedar Ridge Estates

Damage estimated at $30K; city says vandals intended to permanently ruin the trees

City of Parksville buys 222 Corfield site, now sole owners

With the purchase, the city will not facilitate cold weather shelter, soup kitchen on property

Canadian Music Hall of Famer Steven Page to play Parksville

Barenaked Ladies co-founder performs at Knox United Church on June 1

Parksville Beach Festival Society launches campaign for outdoor stage

Public invited to event May 25 to help with kickoff

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Woman rescued from Nanaimo’s East Wellington bluffs

Evening hike turns into overnight ordeal for Nanaimo woman who lost her way as darkness fell

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Chesapeake Shores filming in downtown Nanaimo

Cast and crew close to wrapping up shooting on Season 4 of Hallmark Channel TV series

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Most Read