AMHERST – Amherst has agreed to a proposal from the Municipality of Cumberland that will see town water supplied to Maccan residents in as early as two years.
“That’s very good news,” longtime county councillor John Kellegrew said Tuesday. “I’ve been on council for 18 years and the water has been issue in Maccan for that long, if not longer.”
It’s estimated the system will cost $2.6 million to install. The county will pay for the construction, while Amherst will manage the project. The system will be turned over to the town with residents being billed directly by Amherst’s water utility.
Kellegrew, who represents the Maccan area, said the county is presently working on putting the funding together and will be talking to Maccan residents about their options.
“I know this is going to be very welcome in that area,” Kellgrew said. “The water there now is barely palatable. It’s not very good.”
Amherst’s water lines presently run as far as the experimental farm in Nappan.
Extending town water further into the county has been a touchy subject between the two municipalities for more than a decade. Kellegrew credited staff from both municipalities for working together to make the project a reality.
“There’s a good working relationship between the two CAOs and their respective staffs,” Kellegrew said.
Extending the water system to Maccan will be included in a three-year water rate application to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. W.H. Gates prepared the study based on the utility’s estimated expenditures for the next three years, and to include a water system to Maccan in the third year.
The Maccan system will include the potential addition of 114 customers and 14 new hydrants. The town is assuming 75 per cent of the available customers will hook up to the system.
Amherst’s Operational Services director Ben Pitman said adding Maccan will have minimal impact on the town’s water supply. He said the Maccan system will account for about three per cent of the Tyndal Wellfield’s annual production.
“Accepting the water rate study and making the application to the UARB will allow us to continue to pay down our accumulated deficit and maintain a capital program, all while continuing to have one of the lowest water rates in the province,” Coun. Dave March told Amherst council at its regular meeting on Monday.
March said Amherst’s current average water bill is $56.15. It will go to $62.90 by 2015-16. The average quarterly bill in Truro is $109.89, it’s $91.46 in New Glasgow and $126.21 in Bridgewater.