FALL RIVER: Phase two of the Fall River water project could be just the start of future water expansions throughout areas that desperately need it, the three political representatives agreed upon during a press conference on Aug. 13.
Darrell Samson, the MP for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook; Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank Liberal MLA Bill Horne; Councillor Steve Streatch; and Municipal Affairs Minister Chuck Porter were on hand at the gazebo behind the Gordon R. Snow Community Centre to announce phase two funding from the federal government’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. There was not much fanfare to the announcement.
“This is a partnership, and it’s these types of partnerships that allow communities like Fall River to grow,” said Samson.
He said they quickly realized after funding was announced two years ago that a phase two component of the project would be required.
“The players on the ground had to get back to work because we didn’t want to see the company doing the work and its workers to leave then come back,” he said. “We’re more efficient to get it connected very quickly.
The investment was transferred from another project that is not ready to go forward to the Fall River water project.
Samson said if people are to move to the area the infrastructure, like water, needs to be in place. He also said having city water available will be a benefit in housing values.
“If we want to draw people into our communities we have to have the facilities, we have to have the infrastructure,”said Samson. “If we have that then we will draw. We will also draw very important people and that is the business community.
“The business community are a driving force in communities and they will come here if they have water and the necessary supplies to be able to function and prosper.”
Porter said investing in the Fall River water project was a ‘no-brainer’.
“We’re very pleased to be part of this project,” he said. “This is important and fabulous for a community like Fall River that has grown tremendously.
“If you have no water, you have nothing many will tell you.”
He said for real estate and home values, having water being nearby and able to hook up to it will be a “wonderful thing.” The province is contributing $1.1 million for the second phase.
“Now to continue with phase two and create such a great investment, it’s great we’ve been able to partner with the other two levels.
Horne, the emcee, and Streatch both mentioned hearing from residents in Fall River Village; St. Andrews Village; and Schwarzwald who are eager to have water in their subdivisions.
“I think we have our work cut out for us, but it’s something we can get working on,” said Streatch. “I’m very encouraged that all three have menti0oned that and as we go forward we will bring those projects forward for consideration.”
He credited former councillor Barry Dalrymple with getting the ball rolling alongside Horne and Samson in bringing city water to the Fall River community.
“This has been the culmination of many years of hard work by many people,” said Streatch. “I want to thank former councillor Dalrymple who was very instrumental in bringing this forward.”
Streatch acknowledged the pain involved by residents, from construction work, to the bridge closure, to the state of the roads.
“This has not been without local pain,” said Streatch. “We’ve had disruptions, but we’re making great strides.
Infrastructure Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne was unable to attend.