Green light for Kingsport water project
BY KIRK STARRATT
Kings County council has given the green light to the Kingsport central water project. Councillors voted in favour of allowing the project to proceed at the Tuesday, June 2 session.
Speaking on behalf of council, Warden Fred Whalen said that although there were some residents who weren’t in favour of the project, a group of residents who supported the initiative and the area councillor, Jim Taylor, worked long and hard to see it to fruition.
Water projects differ from sewer projects in the sense that, if a majority of residents support a sewer project, everyone in the area must pay equally. With water, a project can proceed with the support of 40 per cent of affected residents and you only have to pay if you decide to hook up.
A good news story: Whalen
Overall, Whalen said, he thinks it’s a good news story and a number of residents have already expressed their appreciation. He said perhaps more Kingsport residents would sign on once the infrastructure is in place and the system is up and running. “We certainly hope so,” he said, pointing out that one of the responsibilities of the municipality is the provision of clean, safe water to residents.
Taylor was in Newfoundland attending an annual conference in his role as a board member for the Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre and was not immediately available for comment. However, Whalen said he is very happy for Taylor and the residents who worked so long and hard to get the project approved. He described Taylor’s efforts as the area councillor as “above and beyond” the call of duty.
Whalen said he knows from personal experience that the water isn’t great in some areas of Kingsport, having rented a cottage there in the past.
Urged council not to pull the plug
Taylor urged his colleagues not to pull the plug on the project at the May 19 committee of the whole session. He reported that a petition in the community came up with 71 favourable responses and 72 were needed for the required 40 per cent support. He asked for more time to contact seasonal property owners and pointed out that the proposed project wouldn’t be applicable to a number of the subject properties anyhow. For example, one is under water at high tide.
The need for central water in Kingsport has became apparent, as salt water intrusion from the Minas Basin has compromised water quality in several private wells. The cost of the project is expected to be about $2.2 million, which will be cost-shared among the three levels of government and area residents.