FALL RIVER: An extension of up to a year to the initial March 31, 2018 deadline for the Fall River water project is possible, says the MP for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook.

In an interview with The Laker on May 24, Darrell Samson said he has spoken with his fellow federal officials and confirmed an extension can be allowed, all that’s needed is a request from HRM through the province for it.

“Because of the information I have been provided the last day or so, that the date would be difficult to meet,” said Samson at his Fall River office. “I’ve had some discussions with my federal counterparts in the Minister’s office about having an extension approved for this water project that is so important and essential to Fall River.

“The feedback that I got is that yes, it is possible to have an extension. There are certain steps and procedures that need to take place.”

Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook Liberal MP Darrell Samson says an extension to the Fall River water project deadline is possible (Healey photo)

In a previous story, Councillor Steve Streatch indicated the tight timeline to get the water project in to meet the federal funding deadline was too tight and played a role in the tenders coming in almost $3 million over the estimated cost from Halifax Water engineers.

Samson said the first step that has to be made is for Streatch and HRM to send a request to the federal government, through the province, asking for the extension. The request would have to have a motion at regional council before it can go to the feds; Streatch is hoping to do this very shortly.

“It’s not uncommon, as you can imagine, to have an extension on those types of projects because there’s many of them that were approved across Canada. They realize it’s not all possible to have they finished at a specific time.

“In this case if it is their desire for an extension, then they just need to make the request to Municipal Affairs with the province, and in turn they would submit to us in Ottawa and we would make a decision based on my discussions. Ottawa would be very open to making this work.”

If the extension was granted—as Samson expects it would be—the new deadline to have the project completed by would March 31, 2019.