‘Right now our system is outdated, inefficient and overtaxed’
The town is operating with a surplus on its current account, and its annual budget is far larger than most other communities its size.
What’s more, the water supply project will inject thousands more dollars into the town’s already bulging coffers through user fees charged to Quinlan Brothers, and savings from operational and maintenance costs.
“It’s a win-win for Bay de Verde. This water supply is a real revenue generator,” said Murphy.
Despite all this, Bay de Verde has been unable to come up with the money to pay its share of the project, and Murphy is angry the provincial government is not doing more to help out.
Murphy described the amount involved as “ hardly the cost of a home by today’s standards,” yet the banks continue to give the town the cold shoulder.
The town has suggested that the province agree to a loan guarantee, but to no avail.
Big demand for water
The plant requires vast amounts of water
— Bay de Verde Mayor Gerard Murphy
to operate. The company has even resorted to trucking water into the community, and also has a system of pumps to bring ocean water into the plant. And during peak demand at the plant, homeowners experience low pressure and silt in their water.
Murphy said the project will address all these problems.
“Right now our system is outdated, inefficient and overtaxed.”
Last year, the town supplied some 55 million gallons of water to the plant at a cost of $1.25 per 1,000 gallons. But the plant requires between 80 and 90 million gallons, and this figure could rise substantially if a new chitin/chitosan production facility being pro- posed by the company is built.
The new system will easily handle the growing demand, Murphy said.
And the rates charged to the company are on their way up. It has since increased to $1.45 per 1,000 gallons, and will go up again to $1.75 on July 1.
“As you can see, this is our financial lifeline,” Murphy said. “ Two to three years of putting water through this proposed line; the revenue generated from that will pretty well pay off our borrowing costs.
“And every year we forego this project it’s a tremendous loss of revenue,” he added.
But Murphy is not ready to give up. He said the town will come up with its share of the cost, but not because of any help from the provincial government.
“I can certainly not give the Department of Municipal Affairs, in any way, shape or form, any credit for it when we do get it done,” he said. “All I know is I’m not going to let that money slip through our hands and possibly jeopardize the future of our town.”
Bay de Verde Mayor Gerard Murphy is frustrated that the town has been unable to secure its share of the funding for a $3 million water system upgrade.