Town installing infrastructure
Line will supply water to proposed new business park in Bay Roberts
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.
Bay Roberts is currently suffering through a water shortage. This water gauge at Big Pond on the New Harbour Barrens is now fully exposed.