The Town of Qualicum Beach has purchased 75 acres of land it hopes will solidify its water-supply issues for years to come.
The land, near the intersection of Rupert and Berwick roads off Memorial Avenue, was purchased for $1.495 million from Island Timberlands. The two parcels that are part of the purchase are adjacent to town land where the water tower and reservoir currently stand.
“It’s been in our plans for years to acquire land in that area,” the town’s financial administrator John Marsh told The NEWS. “We had budgeted to buy this property. It wasn’t unexpected.”
Bob Weir, the town’s director of engineering and utilities, said the purchase was important for the town due to the uncertainty surrounding the town’s only other current water supply below ground near the estuary of the Little Qualicum River.
“We are very proud of how we have managed that water supply,” Weir said in an interview Monday. “But it is at such a low elevation we don’t know that we will always be able to maintain the capacity we are drawing from it now.”
The news release issued by the town said the sale price was agreed “on a willing buyer/willing seller basis with the assistance of independent third-party appraisers.”
Coun. Dave Willie said Monday “it’s crucial we have a long-term water supply for that area” and the land purchase was “something that’s been looked at for years.”
The town’s news release also stated that “Island Timberlands recognized the importance of the property to the Town, and agreed to negotiate a transfer of ownership.”