Premier Stephen McNeil speaks to a crowd member prior to a funding announcement for CCOA in Enfield on Feb. 21. (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER: Water could be flowing down the Fall River Road and along Highway 2 in Fall River in the not too distant future.

During a visit to Nova Scotia last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a funding announcement in Bridgetown that involved Fall River. He pledged $119 million for projects in N.S., including $87 m for water and waste water in Bridgetown, Lunenburg, and Fall River.

At an Aug. 10 meeting with business members from the Fall River and Area Business Association (FRABA), Premier Stephen McNeil told them if the federal government supported the project with infrastructure money, the province would be on board as well.
The money earmarked to bring water down the Fall River Road and along Highway 2 towards Inn on the Lake from the feds works out to be $3.9 million, with the province scheduled to kick in an additional $1.9 million.

Councillor Barry Dalrymple said it’s good news.

“It’s probably the biggest infrastructure announcement Fall River has ever had,” said Dalrymple on Aug. 23. “It will allow in the business district on Hwy. 2 for commercial businesses to come in. Very little has happened over the past years because of the lack of water.

Now he says his colleagues at HRM have to do their part and allow the water service boundary to be extended.

“The next step for the HRM is to pass the motion I made about extending the water boundary,” he said. “I’ll be sending messages to our planning department, staff, Mayor Mike Savage, and our CAO saying this has to be expedited.”

While the deadline for projects receiving funding is 2018 and that may seem like far off, given what is involved to make water happen it’s not really a lot of time.

“I’m hoping work begins the fall of 2017, but there’s a lot of red tape and bureaucracy,” said Dalrymple. “My message I’m going to be sending shortly is to HRM, our upper management that we can’t be fooling around.

“We can’t waste time on this. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”