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Survey says water mains not wanted on two roads near Pugwash

Dale Mills, a long time resident of Pugwash Point Road, gave a presentation to county council Wednesday evening. He said the proposed domestic water main extension along his Pugwash Point Road and the Gulf Shore Road is a waste of money because most residents have no intention of hooking up to.
Dale Mills, a long time resident of Pugwash Point Road, gave a presentation to county council Wednesday evening. He said the proposed domestic water main extension along his Pugwash Point Road and the Gulf Shore Road is a waste of money because most residents have no intention of hooking up to.

UPPER NAPPAN – Eighty-five per cent of residents living on two roads near the Village of Pugwash don’t want new water mains on their road.

That is according to a survey conducted by people living on those roads.

“We recommend council rescind its motion made Feb. 1, 2017, to extend domestic water mains and service laterals to those portions of the Pugwash Point Road and Gulf Shore Road,” said Dale Mills, a resident living on Pugwash Point Road.

Mills made a public presentation to county council during Wednesday night’s regular meeting of council.

The regular meeting of council Wednesday night included Rennie Bugley, county CAO (let); Allison Gillis, county warden (centre), and Donald Fletcher, county deputy warden.

Mills has 23 acres alongside Pugwash Point Road.

His great grandparents started farming there in 1904 and the land has been passed down to following generations.

“For the past 25 years I’ve been a seasonal resident,” said Mills. “Last summer I tore down my cottage and built a brand new home.”

On March 15 council approved the Local Improvement Charge of $4,054 for occupied lots to have their water hooked up to the planned water main.

“One thing that happened on this project is they went ahead and made a decision to do it without consulting rate-payers,” said Mills after his presentation. “We didn’t find out about it until after the decision was made. It was a shock to everybody. Well, maybe not everybody. There might have been a handful of people that knew.”

The water main is part of a $15 million infrastructure project to bring clean drinking water to the Village of Pugwash.

During the presentation Mills said council approved the extension to “improve water quality and health of residents as arsenic and uranium can be found in some of the water tests.” But added that what is good for the Village of Pugwash makes no sense for more rural areas.

After Mills' speculated, based on rumours, on what it would cost to run a line from a home to the main water line. Councilor Maryanne Jackson reprimanded Mills for bringing up costs based on rumours in a public forum. Mills, who said the rumour was $100 per-foot, responded by saying, "My understanding is that there is a charge. Maybe that’s false but I’m not seeing any information anywhere that tells us what it’s going to be."

“I don’t think the water you have on Pugwash Point Road or Gulf Shore road is at the same level of contamination in the Pugwash Village.”

He then presented a survey to council, conducted by Marilyn Sexton and Matt Roach, residents living along the two roads.

Forty residents responded to the survey. Six residents wanted the water main extension and 34, or 85 per cent, were against it. Only one reported unsafe arsenic/uranium levels.

Mills said a four or five stage reverse osmosis system could remove 97.4 per cent of arsenic and other metals at a cost of $1,300 to $2,000 per home.

“For the six homes that are concerned about water quality this would cost $12,000 vs. $1,064,000 for extending the water service,” said Mills.

District 5 councillor Lynne Welton, of Wallace, said water filtration has worked for her.

County councilor Lynne Welton said filtration can be an effective method of removing contaminants from water.

“I fully agree with you that the osmosis systems are great. I have one,” said Welton. “The only other thing you have to do with them is change your filter once a year, and, depending how much uranium or whatever is in your supply, it might have to be twice a year.”

Mills said the water extension is a white elephant.

“The majority have no intention of connecting to the water main even if it is built,” said Mills. “It’s not needed. That’s the bottom line. I don’t care if it costs one dollar, I’m not connecting.”

He hopes council rescinds their decision.

“I hope they cancel the project because the reality is that if in six years from now only six people connect to it they’re going to look foolish,” said Mills.

Deputy warden Donald Fletcher, District 10, Advocate, said they haven’t made a decision on whether or not to rescind the motion but added that they may discuss the issue further at the next council meeting on May 3.

“I’m almost 100 per cent it will be on next council agenda and we will make a decision whether to go ahead or go back,” said Fletcher.

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