Steve Streatch (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER: Without any costing figures, it’s hard to pinpoint how far city water can be brought down Fall River Road and if it can be stretched down Hwy. 2 towards Inn on the Lake as the local councillor hopes.

Councillor Steve Streatch said at present he doesn’t, nor does HRM, have any of the engineering costing for what the final price tag will be to bring city water down Fall River Road. The federal government is contributing $4 million, with $2 million coming from the provincial McNeil government. The remainder will come from HRM.

“The engineering is still not complete so any costing figures at this stage of the game are purely estimates,” said Streatch in an interview with The Laker on Dec. 9. “When the engineering is completed, it will give us a total scope of the cost of the project.”

He knows what he would like to see happen with the water project.

“My intention would be that the water would come down Fall River Road and continue along Hwy. 2 right to the overpass by Petro Canada, just past Inn on the Lake,” he said. “The funding that has been made available by the federal and provincial governments is a great help, and we are thankful for that. Any balance above and beyond that is going to have to be born by the residents and businesses that border on where this extension goes.

“It is clear to me that in order to get the best bang for our buck we need to have figures come in that are closer to the $8 million mark rather than the $12 million mark that’s been suggested. Until we get those figures, it is very difficult to put a final plan together.”

Streatch said the intention is to do the whole job at once, however HRM staff is proposing to do it in two phases.

“I am against that,” he said. “I am saying if we are going to open these roads up, if we’re going to inconvenience the community than we better do this all right now. I will be pushing for that.”

He said the Halifax Water Commission plays a big role in the project. Streatch spoke with Carl Yates, Halifax Water’s general manager, and he agreed that it makes sense, for many reasons, to do the full job at once.

“He has agreed they will foot the bill for over-sizing the pipes. He has also indicated to me that taking the water down Hwy 2 will help alleviate some of the concerns in two of the small water systems they maintain now on Miller Road and just off of Lockview Road,” explained Streatch. “In his view, that will let them close those down and tie into this new system would be greatly advantageous.”

Streatch said the other thing that needs to occur is that HRM planning has to look into the future and extend the water service boundary to encompass the proposed footprint down to the Petro Canada, and not stop at the Sobeys.

“I have had those meetings with CAO Jacques Dube and the planning department,” he said. “We’re going to be pushing hard to see that that happens.”

He said it is his understanding that both the federal and provincial governments were led to believe the whole project would be done at the same time.

“Any suggestion that it wouldn’t be was generated internally at HRM because of a concern of the total cost and not wanting to overburden the local properties abutting this system,” said Streatch.