Min­is­ter re­sponds to Bay de Verde mayor


Dear edi­tor,

I am writ­ing in re­sponse to com­ments from the mayor of Bay de Verde in an ar­ti­cle head­lined “Open­ing the taps in Bay Bay de Verde,” which ap­peared in the March 29 edi­tion of The Com­pass, re­gard­ing the in­volve­ment of the Depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs in sup­port­ing a wa­ter line for the com­mu­nity.

The mayor ap­pears to be blam­ing the depart­ment for the town’s fi­nan­cial prob­lems when, in fact, the depart­ment has been in­tri­cately in­volved in help­ing the town find a so­lu­tion to its fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion.

We rec­og­nize the im­por­tance of the wa­ter pro­ject for the town and the re­gion, which is ex­actly why in May 2009, to ad­dress the town’s wa­ter is­sues, a pro­ject val­ued at $ 2,857,699 was ap­proved, with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment pro­vid­ing $1,619,363 of the cost and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment pro­vid­ing $952,566. The re­main­ing $285,770 was the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the town.

Of­fi­cials of my depart­ment have spent a great deal of time work­ing with the Town of Bay de Verde to help them with their fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion. For in­stance, we have been deal­ing with their ar­rears at New­found­land Mu­nic­i­pal Fi­nanc­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, nu­mer­ous meet­ings have been held, we have spo­ken with fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and we have sug­gested the town ex­plore non-tra­di­tional op­tions, such as se­cur­ing fund­ing from a source other than a lend­ing in­sti­tu­tion.

For the mayor to say Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs is not help­ing his com­mu­nity is ir­re­spon­si­ble and in­cor­rect. Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs is ded­i­cated to work­ing with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to help them pro­vide nec­es­sary ser­vices for their res­i­dents. Along with Trin­ity-Bay de Verde MHA Char­lene John­son, we have worked hard to help the Town of Bay de Verde ad­dress its fi­nan­cial chal­lenges and im­prove its fi­nan­cial po­si­tion.

We are com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing with this work.

Kevin O’Brien Min­is­ter, Depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs

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