On­go­ing wa­ter is­sues, air am­bu­lance ser­vice fea­si­bil­ity and up­com­ing by­elec­tion

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Municipal - BY MAR­TINE BLUE mar­tineblue­[email protected]

“We’ve got a mil­lion dol­lar pro­gram to re­place our main wa­ter line that should go ahead in the spring.” – Deputy Mayor Rick Blag­don

Bur­geo Deputy Mayor Rick Blag­don had a chat with The Gulf News to pro­vide up­dates on some key is­sues fac­ing the town:

Mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter

The Town of Bur­geo has dealt with ma­jor is­sues af­fect­ing its wa­ter over the past year.

Bur­geo’s wa­ter treat­ment fa­cil­ity suf­fered nu­mer­ous break­downs af­fect­ing the com­pres­sors and ozone gen­er­a­tor. A power fail­ure caused up to $70,000 dol­lars in dam­age to the equip­ment.

The town was on a boil or­der for a month but is now been cleared for use straight from the tap.

“Right now we are off the boil or­der. It’s be­ing chlo­ri­nated but it’s not be­ing hosi­nated at this point,” Blag­don ex­plained. “Right now we are wait­ing for a part that should ar­rive as early as this week, that should get our plant up and run­ning at half ca­pac­ity.”

Blag­don says get­ting the plant back up and run­ning should also deal with the high lev­els of tri­halomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids ( HAAs) in Bur­geo’s wa­ter. THMs and HAAs are dis­in­fec­tion biprod­ucts cre­ated from the in­ter­ac­tion of chlo­rine with or­ganic ma­te­rial sus­pended in the wa­ter.

Long-term ex­po­sure to ex­ces­sive lev­els of THMs and HAAs are sus­pected to cause can­cer and re­pro­duc­tion is­sues.

Re­cent testing mea­sured Bur­geo at higher than ac­cept­able lev­els of 345 mi­cro­grams of THMs per litre of wa­ter. Blag­don notes that the high dis­in­fec­tion biprod­uct lev­els did come up at a re­cent coun­cil meet­ing, but he is con­fi­dent the treat­ment plant will take care of that is­sue once it’s up and run­ning.

The Deputy Mayor out­lined that ap­ply­ing for fund­ing to keep up with wa­ter line main­te­nance is an is­sue coun­cil is on top of.

“We’ve got a mil­lion dol­lar pro­gram to re­place our main wa­ter line that should go ahead in the spring and we’re go­ing to keep ap­ply­ing (for fund­ing) for our main wa­ter line,” Blag­don clar­i­fied.

The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment ap­proved $525,000 to go to­ward the project. Blag­don laments that amount is a drop in the bucket when he con­sid­ers all the wa­ter line work the com­mu­nity needs.

“You’re go­ing to need a lot of half a mil­lion dol­lar projects to get through a com­mu­nity,” he said.

Air am­bu­lance

Eu­gene Nip­pard, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from a pri­vate com­pany called Eva Air, pro­posed in­stalling an air am­bu­lance ser­vice in Bur­geo. The emer­gency ser­vice would in­volve planes that would cover the town and sur­round­ing ru­ral ar­eas.

Blag­don met with Nip­pard, who laid out a plan in which the town would pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant area of fenced in, level land, 4,000 feet of run­way, a ter­mi­nal, hangers, wa­ter, sewer, wash­room fa­cil­i­ties and elec­tric­ity.

How­ever, Blag­don iden­ti­fied a ma­jor is­sue with Nip­pard’s pitch.

“Where’s the money gonna’ come ( from)?” Blag­don in­quired.

He noted, “With all the is­sues we have down here with our wa­ter, I re­ally couldn’t see us go­ing af­ter an air­port. I re­ally couldn’t see the gov­ern­ment putting in $5-10 mil­lion when we’ve got so many other pri­or­i­ties.”

Blag­don con­cluded that the pro­posal was not fea­si­ble and pointed out that the hos­pi­tal al­ready has a he­li­copter Medi­vac ser­vice in place.


With the re­cent res­ig­na­tion of John Sa­vory from the position of mayor, Deputy Mayor Blag­don says a by­elec­tion will be called to elect a new coun­cil mem­ber.

He said coun­cil will then choose a coun­cil mem­ber for the mayor’s seat.

Blag­don hasn’t yet de­cided whether he will put his name for­ward for the mayor’s position.

A date for the by­elec­tion has not yet been set.


Bur­geo Deputy Mayor Rick Blag­don

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