Regional District of Nanaimo directors are expected to vote on the 2020 budget at their Feb. 25 meeting. (News Bulletin file)

RDN budget includes unexpected $1.5 million for sewer pipe replacement

Pipe corrosion at Departure Bay discovered in December

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s 2020 budget, expected to be approved next week, will include an unexpected $1.5-million expenditure for replacement of pipe on a major sewage artery in Nanaimo.

The RDN 2020-24 financial plan is scheduled to go before the board Feb. 25, with adjustments from a preliminary budget presented in November. It includes the addition of $1.5 million for force main pipe replacement and repair in the Departure Bay area. The money was necessitated after a pocket of sewer gas was found to be corroding the pipe, which is said to carry 70 per cent of the flow to the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre. According to a staff report, it is expected 500 metres of pipe will need “replacement or relining.” Money will come from Southern Community Wastewater Reserves and an integrity review and repair for the rest of the line will continue as planned as part of a Departure Bay pumphouse upgrade project in 2020-21, the report said.

“This is an item that was not actually discovered until December and so because of that, of course, we were not able to present that to the board in November with the rest of the capital,” Jeannie Bradburne, RDN director of finance, told the board at its Feb. 11 committee of the whole meeting.

The 2020 budget also sees $538,350 set aside for 5,900-hour and 1,700-hour conventional and custom transit expansions respectively.

Automated curbside waste collection for RDN areas, except for City of Nanaimo, is set to begin in October, with $618,930 budgeted for that.

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In terms of tax requisition, owners of an average Nanaimo home are anticipated to be charged $491 in taxes in 2020, an increase of $46 from last year. .

District of Lantzville taxpayers will see an increase of $22 in 2020, with a total of $533 being taxed.

City of Parksville ratepayers will see a total tax increase of $36, with $684 in taxes charged for the year.

The Town of Qualicum Beach will see a total tax increase of $14 with $760 in total taxes charged.

Residents in RDN Area A (Cedar, South Wellington, Yellow Point, Cassidy) total tax for an average home will equal $632, an increase of $43 over the year previous.

Gabriola Island and area (Area B) ratepayers will see taxes increase $41 this year to $417.

Extension, East Wellington and Pleasant Valley (Area C) will see a total tax increase of $56, with the total cost for an average home in the area $710.

Nanoose Bay area residents (Area E) will see a total tax increase of $52, with total taxes at $743 in 2020.

Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek and Meadowood (Area F) will see a total tax increase of $31 with total taxes at $581.

The French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum and Englishman River area (Area G) will see its total taxes increase $56 to $827 this year.

Bowser, Qualicum Bay and Deep Bay (Area H) will see total taxes increase to $670 in 2020, an increase of $34.

The RDN is required by law to have a five-year financial plan in place by March 31.

City of Nanaimo ratepayers’ contribution to the RDN is separate from taxes paid to the city.

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