Residents anger at water project unfair, says Streatch

FALL RIVER: Steve Streatch feels residents’ online comments — most of which are negative — directed at the water project are “unfair” to all those involved.

The councillor was speaking to The Laker about residents feeling there’s been poor communication, the project is unsatisfactory and that something smells with it all.

“That’s really unfair, to me, to you in the press, and to our staff,” said Streatch. “This project happened very fast. It happened fast because we were granted federal and provincial funding that a year ago was barely even on the radar screen.

“We had to provide a shovel ready project that was ready to go to tender and go to market.”

VIDEO: Streatch on frustrated residents

Streatch said he’s sorry some feel they don’t have the information they require. He indicated his hope is to have a better Local Improvement Charge for residents than the estimate of $11,500.

“Quite frankly, at the end of the water project, I hope to deliver an LIC lower than the $11,500,” he said. “What we said from the get go was that this was our best estimate.

“If now we don’t have to repave the far end of Fall River Road because they were able to drill under the road, we didn’t touch the pavement. That’s going to represent a $400-$500,000 saving, and due to HRM contributing for the fire hall and Snow Centre, that’s going to lower the LIC. Efficiencies that are found as we continue down Highway 2 will be shared indeed by all residents too.”

VIDEO: No conflict Streatch feels

The representative for Waverley-Fall River-Musquodoboit Valley sits on the Halifax Water board. He responded to some critics saying that is a conflict of interest for him with regards to this water project.

Streatch doesn’t feel it is.

“It’s not a conflict at all,” he said. “Indeed, I feel it is an asset. Halifax Water is in charge of doing this project, and what better place to have your member of council than sitting on the board of the Halifax Water commission?”