‘Right now our sys­tem is out­dated, in­ef­fi­cient and over­taxed’

The Compass - - TRIN­ITY SOUTH -

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.

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