Saturday, June 04, 2016

Lantzville Water Deal ?? What's Going On There?

Lantzville Wants To Rewrite Deal??
unfettered access to Nanaimo water??

It would seem that our neighbours to the north in Lantzville after considerable debate have decided to seek amendments to the deal passed by Nanaimo city council in 2014 which sounds pretty sweet if you live in Lantzville. It seems they are seeking all the benefits of having lived and paid taxes in Nanaimo without any of the tax pain?

According to someone who attended this meeting it would seem that Lantzville residents are not content with the limitations the city of Nanaimo placed on the original deal and want to remove many of the restrictions included in the deal agreed to by city Council on Mayor Ruttans' watch.

Someone in attendance at the meeting reports the suggestion was made to simply go along with the deal and then proceed to connect as many residents as they wanted to, regardless of what Nanaimo has to say about it.

There were several aspects of that deal that did not seem to favour Nanaimo, not the least of which was the connection fees we would receive and the rate at which we would sell Lantzville water.

Until we know we have sufficient water to meet the needs of Nanaimo residents who have been doing all the heavy lifting over the decades, not the least of which is the new $75 million water treatment plant this deal does need to be revisited and it would seem Lantzville is putting that topic back on the table.

The following is an article that appeared on this blog when this deal was first approved by John Ruttans' Council in 2014. It would seem that when city staff crafted this agreement they must have not included an expiry date on the offer, as Lantzville has been sitting on it for two years now.

You will note that agreement was passed by only three members of council and passed by the slimmest of margins in a 3/2 vote. Of course Mayor Ruttan could not vote on this matter, neither would he have been expected to reconsider the vote when a full council was present.

What Does The District of Lantzville Pay?

I addressed city council at the Aug. 11 meeting to express some concerns the Nanaimo Ratepayers Association have with the Lantzville Water Agreement.

This is the agreement that was passed by 3 members of our city council on a tie vote of 3-2 with Councillors Greves, Johnstone and Pattje agreeing with the terms as outlined in the staff recommended agreement.

A water connection fee in Nanaimo is $5912.26, which was established in 2008 and was to be reviewed every three years. By now, there should have been two reviews of the fee, and if history is an example you would expect by now the fee would have increased.

This is the same connection fee being offered to 436 Lantzville residents for at least the next five years if they choose to connect to the water being supplied by the city of Nanaimo. I suggested rather than locking in this fee for the next five years, it be tied to the prevailing connection fee established for the city of Nanaimo.

On the matter of how much Lantzville will be paying for Nanaimo water, I asked what the rate would be as the Waterworks Rate Regulation Bylaw is a little confusing showing a maximum rate of $5.86 / 1000 gallons of water as being the highest rate. I was confused as my own water bill indicated I was paying $7.46 / 1000 gallons of water.

During the meeting Mr. Clemens the city finance director stated that the District of Lantzville will pay the highest consumption rate that a city of Nanaimo user would pay. He also said one of the principles of the agreement was that Lantzville should never pay less that what a citizen in Nanaimo pays.

Clarification on the rates .....

When I asked Mr. Clemens for an example of what Lantzville will pay for water he offered an example that if they used 610,000 gallons over a 122 day period they would have a total bill of $3517.14 which means they would effectively be paying $5.765 / 1000 gallons.

Being that I consider myself a typical Nanaimo water user and was charged $72.30 for 9680 gallons or $7.46 / 1000, and I thought Lantzville would not pay less than I would, I was confused by the fact they were being charged $5.765 / 1000 gallons.

When I asked Mr. Clemens for an explanation, he said that because the District of Lantzville was a high volume user they would only be charged $5.765 / 1000 gallons, however if they only used 9680 gallons they too would pay $7.46 / 1000 gallons.


While technically the District of Lantzville is paying at the same 'rate' as a Nanaimo bulk user would, to suggest they are paying the same rate as the typical Nanaimo residence is not accurate.



  1. we pay they pay we all pay !
    as long as we ensure it keeps running, clean and sweet.

    calm down everyone, it's not the Golan Heights, no need for water wars

    we will be one big town soon enough, judging by future growth projections, and everyone will pay their share, no matter how 'unequal' it appears to you now.

    1. The only way the water can keep running "clean and sweet" is with money. And since Nanaimoites have paid for building our reservoirs, infrastructure and new almost $100 million water treatment plant, all over 100-plus years - we better make sure others buck up a good share of all the above from the past that I and every other Nanaimo taxpayer have had to pay. No free ride!

      And yes, wars of the future will be over water.

    2. Fully agree with Kev's post.
      This is what I think: This is very important for Nanaimo taxpayers and all should pay close attention to the discussions going on about this issue. Hope the info will be made public to us, so we can have a say and not be steam rolled into some long term water give away! I understand the original request was for 50 properties to be served with Nanaimo water , because those properties used polluted wells for their water supply. I would agree that as a neighbour we should help out, if there is no cost to Nanaimo tax payers. But then it was 250 properties to be connected. Then developers found enough water for a whole subdivision! A lot of different things. So please put all cards on the table and tell us what will be going on. Look after our interest first.

  2. small towns, bigger picture, never bedfellows :-(


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