BEAVER BANK: While residents of Fall River have their water project funded federally and provincially, residents just up the road in Monarch-Rivendale in Beaver Bank look on after they had to fork out the money themselves to do just the same for their community.
Waverley-Fall River-Musquodoboit Valley councillor Steve Streatch said many water projects have been installed over the years, and he has been involved in many,”
“Some have attracted cost-sharing funding, others have not,” he said in a Nov. 17 interview.
He said residents in Monarch-Rivendale are likely upset at seeing the support just down the road from them.
“It may appear, and likely is unfair, but at the same time the residents of Monarch-Rivendale were consulted, did vote, and did accept what was put in front of them,” said Streatch. “That does not diminish or raise the profile of our project here in Fall River any more or less.
“It quite simply has to be dealt with on an individual basis.”
Lisa Blackburn, the HRM representative for Middle/Upper Sackville-Lucasville-Beaver Bank chimed in on the issue during a Nov. 21 interview in Beaver Bank with The Laker. She said she has been contacted by a number of residents from there upon learning of the water extension funding for Fall River.
“It is something that I looked into right away,” said Blackburn. “On the surface, it doesn’t seem fair. Those residents in Monarch-Rivendale were basically held hostage. The wells had collapsed. This beautiful neighbourhood and you had people who couldn’t shower in their own homes, or flush their own toilets.
“They had to leave the community to go get laundry done. That went on for some of them, it went on for years.”
She said when city water came in, the residents really had no choice but to “sign up and get hooked up.”
“They did it at a cost of thousands upon thousands of dollars,” she said. “It doesn’t seem fair that they had to pay 100 per cent of the bill and now, less than two years later just kilometres down the road, the residents are getting the provincial and federal help to do it.
“I would like to see something done to see that they can get some sort of compensation for having to pay 100 per cent of the bill.”
Blackburn said she believes it all comes down to when the issue happened for Monarch-Rivendale. At the time there was a different government in power and infrastructure funding wasn’t a main priority.
“I think a lot of the residents cries fell on deaf ears,” she said. “Sadly, I think residents of Monarch-Rivendale were a victim of really bad timing. That is unfortunate.”