Snuneymuxw First Nation Chief Doug White announced a new $1.7-million infrastructure project that he says will allow for much-needed development in the community.
The announcement came Friday that federal funds have been secured for the construction of both a sanitary sewer pipe that will run up Gordon Road through both Reserve No. 2 and No. 4 in Cedar to a new sanitary pump station.
Currently only Reserve No. 1 in Nanaimo is fully serviced.
The second-biggest Snuneymuxw community, there are approximately 60 homes on reserve No. 2 that currently use septic fields.
The new infractructure will not only save money by hooking these homes up to the city sewage system for the first time, but it will allow for development on Reserve No. 4, said White.
"We've always struggled with the septic fields, they're costly to maintain, there's a major limit on any opportunity for any kind of development," said White.
"It allows for the development of a school and health centre out there."
In December of last year, water servicing agreements were signed between Snuneymuxw First Nation and the City of Nanaimo to connect Reserve No. 2 and 4 to the city's water system for the first time.
This latest project continues that work, said White.
"It's very much like the water infrastructure issue," he said.
"We're surrounded by the city of Nanaimo and yet we've never been able - other than with IR No. 1 - we've never been able to hook into all the infrastructure that's nearby, and now we are.
"So it will be an important change for those communities."
Construction of the new infrastructure is slated for early 2014.
JChadwick@nanaimodaily news.com 250-729-4238