Town in­stalling in­fra­struc­ture

Line will sup­ply wa­ter to pro­posed new busi­ness park in Bay Roberts

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

The Town of Bay Roberts has taken an­other sig­nif­i­cant step in the es­tab­lish­ment of a busi­ness park.

The town re­cently called ten­ders for the in­stal­la­tion of a wa­ter line along L. T. Stick Drive ( for­merly CB Ac­cess Road), start­ing at De­laney’s Lane and end­ing at Pick­ett’s Road.

The wa­ter project is one of the con­di­tions the town must ful­fill in or­der to fi­nal­ize a for­mal land sale agree­ment with Cana­dian gro­cery gi­ant Loblaws Prop­er­ties Lim­ited, which op­er­ates the Do­min­ion store on the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way.

“Our wa­ter now is as low as it has ever been,” Bay Roberts chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Nigel Black told The Com­pass. “The more we can con­serve, the bet­ter.”

Of­fi­cials stressed that the flood­ing of the play­ing sur­face is not the big con­cern. The ice-mak­ing equip­ment uses be­tween 450-675 litres ( 100- 150 gal lons) of wa­ter per minute when in op­er­a­tion.

“It’s a steady flow of wa­ter,” said Black. “We just asked them to hold off for a week and we don’t see it be­ing longer than that. ”

The de­ci­sion raises ques­tions about the long-term vi­a­bil­ity of the town’s wa­ter sup­ply, and a visit to Big Pond — one of three ponds form­ing the town’s wa­ter sup­ply — il­lus­trates the town’s con­cerns.

As of Fri­day, the wa­ter level was 14 inches above the in­take valve at the cen­tre of the pond, said a town of­fi­cial. Also, a wa­ter depth guage near the shore was fully ex­posed, in­clud­ing its con­crete base.

Some long­time res­i­dents of the town com­mented last week they had never seen the wa­ter lev­els so low.

How­ever, the town’s engi­neer­ing con­sul­tants, BAE New­plan Group, have as­sured the town of 5,818 res­i­dents that wa­ter lev­els are suf­fi­cient.

Bay Arena woes

Ed Neil, pres­i­dent of the Bay Arena As­so­ci­a­tion, apol­o­gized to arena users for hav­ing to de­lay op­er­a­tions at the fa­cil­ity.

“It is be­yond our con­trol,” he said.

Neil did ac­knowl­edge that the sta­dium uses a large amount of wa­ter, and that ef­forts are un­der­way to re­duce con­sump­tion, in­clud­ing the in­stal­la­tion of more ef­fi­cient ice-mak­ing equip­ment that would cost some $50,000.

“We are try­ing to be as con­ser­va­tive as we can,” he said. “We’re all there for con­serv­ing wa­ter, and, un­avoid­ably, we had to shut down for a week.”

The de­lay will hit the sta­dium in the pock­et­book, though Neil could not give an es­ti­mate of the lost rev­enue from ice rentals and can­teen sales.

He said it is not some­thing they’ll be able to get back.

“It’s not likely we will be able to ex­tend the sea­son. We take the ice off dur­ing Easter,” he said.

Car wash prob­lems

Mean­while, the wa­ter short­age is rais­ing ques­tions about the pend­ing com­ple­tion of two new car wash busi­nesses in the town. Those are in ad­di­tion to the car wash that cur­rently op­er­ates on the park­ing lot of the Bay Roberts Mall.

Black said talks have not be­gun with the own­ers of those two fa­cil­i­ties about wa­ter con­ser­va­tion.

The ex­ist­ing car wash is still op­er­a­tional, and Black said Bay Roberts is not in the habit of shut­ting down busi­nesses.

“We haven’t con­tem­plated shut­ting down the cur­rent car wash, or de­lay­ing the open­ing of the other two,” he said.

Black said it is his un­der­stand­ing that car washes do not use as much wa­ter as peo­ple may think.

“We will have a wa­ter me­tre on the prop­erty. We’ll mon­i­tor it and if it be­comes a prob­lem, we’ ll deal with it,” he said.

In the mean­time, there are still no signs that the town will be lift­ing the wa­ter ban any­time soon.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

Bay Roberts is cur­rently suf­fer­ing through a wa­ter short­age. This wa­ter gauge at Big Pond on the New Har­bour Bar­rens is now fully ex­posed.

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