More dis­cus­sion needed

Town coun­cil look­ing for clar­i­fi­ca­tion from wa­ter re­sources divi­sion

The Western Star - - Front Page - BY FRANK GALE [email protected]­ern­ Twit­ter: @WS_FrankGale

Town coun­cil look­ing for clar­i­fi­ca­tion from wa­ter re­sources divi­sion.

Coun. Tom Rose says the Stephenvil­le town coun­cil needs to have more dis­cus­sion about the is­sue of per­mits in Cold Brook, and Mayor Tom O’Brien agrees.

Rose said at the reg­u­lar gen­eral meet­ing of coun­cil last Thurs­day that from what he has read from the wa­ter re­sources man­age­ment divi­sion, there will not be any ef­fect on Stephenvil­le’s wa­ter if more homes are per­mit­ted in Cold Brook.

He says there shouldn’t be any prob­lem if there were just some in­fill­ing per­mits for peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who al­ready pur­chased land from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

“We need to take a greater lead­er­ship in this,” Rose said. “Let’s have (Dorothea) Han­shar, ground­wa­ter re­sources man­ager, come in or at least have a tele­con­fer­ence call on this.”

O’Brien said he would like to have dis­cus­sions as well, since there seems to be some dif­fer­ences on the is­sue in sev­eral emails sent by of­fi­cials of the ground­wa­ter re­sources divi­sion.

In one from Han­shar, the rec­om­men­da­tion was that rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Town of Stephenvil­le con­sider fur­ther work to en­sure any de­vel­op­ment would be in the best in­ter­est of the town and Cold Brook.

She said it was her opin­ion that while an AMEC re­port is ad­e­quate as a first step in eval­u­at­ing the sus­tain­abil­ity of de­vel­op­ment in the com­mu­nity of Cold Brook and as­sess­ing the po­ten­tial ef­fects of such de­vel­op­ment on the Stephenvil­le well field, it is by no means con­clu­sive.

An email sent by Hanseen Khan, di­rec­tor with the divi­sion, states there is none-to­min­i­mum prob­a­bil­ity of any ad­verse im­pact on the well field as­so­ci­ated with the de­vel­op­ment in this area.

O’Brien said in May he sent a let­ter to Stephenvil­le-Port au Port MHA John Finn, stat­ing that coun­cil would ap­pre­ci­ate such a meet­ing and asked for it at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble time, since the con­struc­tion sea­son was near­ing.

He said his un­der­stand­ing is that the meet­ing is be­ing planned and he’s now try­ing to find out where it’s go­ing to be held.

“We want of­fi­cials to come out and ex­plain ex­actly what ‘none-to-min­i­mum prob­a­bil­ity’ means,” O’Brien said.

He said coun­cil doesn’t want to pro­ceed with some­thing and then get in trou­ble if some­thing goes wrong.

“We don’t want to play Rus­sian roulette with our wa­ter sys­tem,” O’Brien said.

Rose said the town has put peo­ple on hold with­out solid ev­i­dence, and coun­cil needs to get peo­ple from the wa­ter re­sources divi­sion to ex­plain this and iron it out so peo­ple who want to build in Cold Brook can pro­ceed.

“The bot­tom line is that we think we could move the line in Cold Brook to ac­com­mo­date this, but (wa­ter re­sources of­fi­cials) need to talk to us so we can make an in­formed de­ci­sion,” O’Brien said.


Coun. Tom Rose lis­tens dur­ing dis­cus­sion at last week’s reg­u­lar gen­eral meet­ing of the Stephenvil­le town coun­cil.

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