Minister responds to Bay de Verde mayor
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