Grand Bank agrees to 10 per cent hike for For­tune wa­ter

Towns have signed off on a new five-year deal

The Southern Gazette - - Saltwire Homes - BY PAUL HERRIDGE GRAND BANK, N.L. paul.herridge@south­erngazette.ca

The Town of Grand Bank has reached an­other five-year agree­ment to ac­cess the Town of For­tune’s wa­ter sup­ply.

Dur­ing its meet­ing on Mon­day, Oct. 15, Grand Bank Town Coun­cil ap­proved the terms of the rene­go­ti­ated deal.

It will see Grand Bank pay an ad­di­tional 10 per cent, jump­ing from $44,250 to $48,675 annu- ally. The con­tract will also see Grand Bank pay a $5,625 yearly main­te­nance fee, up 25 per cent from $4,500.

The agree­ment is retroac­tive to July 1, 2018. For­tune Town Coun­cil has also ap­proved the agree­ment, town man­ager Wayne Bolt noted.

Mayor Rex Matthews called the con­tract “fair and rea­son­able.”

“We’re still get­ting a real good deal from the Town of For­tune,” he said.

Grand Bank ini­tially struck an agree­ment with For­tune, which has one of the best sources of wa­ter in the province, to tap into its wa­ter sys­tem in 2007. Grand Bank wanted to im­prove drink­ing wa­ter for its res­i­dents. The in­fra­struc­ture to con­nect the two towns cost $2 mil­lion.

Grand Bank was pay­ing For­tune $33,000 a year for the ser­vice in 2012, ac­cord­ing to a story in The South­ern Gazette from that year.

The two towns have also agreed to work to­gether to in­stall mark­ers at the For­tune dam at in­ter­vals in­di­cat­ing when the wa­ter level is se­verely low.

A caveat in the orig­i­nal agree­ment al­lows For­tune to cut Grand Bank off if there is not enough wa­ter to sup­ply both com­mu­ni­ties. That last hap­pened in the fall of 2014 af­ter sev­eral months of lit­tle rain in the re­gion.

Grand Bank has since made up­grades to its own reser­voir so the town can re­vert to that sys­tem if nec­es­sary.

Matthews said dur­ing the coun­cil meet­ing the town needs sig­nif­i­cant time to pre­pare in in­stances when it could be cut off.

“We don’t want a day or two days’ no­tice,” he said.

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