FALL RIVER: The request for an extension on the Fall River water project has been submitted to the federal government, says councillor Steve Streatch.

In the monthly sit-down interview with The Laker on June 19, Streatch said he has submitted the request.

“We have sent on the application through the province to the feds, so for all intents and purposes that gives us a year’s breathing room and the opportunity to find the best possible deal for not only the local residents and the municipality,” said Streatch. “This project is not in jeopardy. It simply is on a temporary hold.”

He said there have been several discussions held in the past month with various levels of government and the Halifax Water Commission.

“At a meeting last week I met with Carl Yates, general manager with Halifax Water, and several of our top staff for an update as it relates to their efforts to find efficiency’s to bring the costs down,” said Streatch. “I was encouraged by what they’ve put in front of me. Already they have found close to $1 million in savings, and that quite simply is done by sharpening your pencil a little bit.”

The Waverley-Fall River-Musquodoboit Valley representative said the efficiency’s have been found by shifting the location of some of the pipes, potentially using different technologies as it relates to piping options. Iron pipe was specked in the original tender documents.

“We’re told now that, especially along Hwy 2 where the size of pipe goes down to a smaller size, we can use a welded PVC component,” said Streatch. “Staff continue to investigate that.”

He said he’s had discussions with the low bidder and there is interest from them to find more efficiency’s, and staff is working with them to do that.

Streatch said he was encouraged by being contacted from the developer of the Carr Farm family property.

“He has also offered to contribute financially as it relates to reduce the cost of this project,” he said. “That can be done by changing some of the details as it relates to routing and some of the piping related to that property.”

He spoke about the paving part of the tender, which some in the community were intrigued by.

“In the discussion with staff, I have talked to staff about the paving components, there are two of them,” said Streatch. “One of the components is obviously the paving to fill in the gaps on the laterals directly across the highway and the other is to repave the project after full completion.

“In discussions with the CAO, it was identified that could possible be moved into next year’s capital paving budget, and not necessarily overburden the local taxpayers.

“If we can shave off a million, million-and-a-half and we can find a little extra funding from the HRM capital budget next, I think we can still move forward with a complete project, albeit slightly delayed.”