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County hoping to install $1.4 million water main line on Athol Road in Springhill

Snow running along the side of Athol Road on Jan. 11, could be replaced by construction crews come summertime.
Snow running along the side of Athol Road on Jan. 11, could be replaced by construction crews come summertime. - Dave Mathieson

Funding could require Springhill water rates to increase by $5 per-quarter

UPPER NAPPAN, N.S. – A $1.4 million water main line could be installed on Athol Road in Springhill by as early as this summer.

County council passed a motion to send an application for funding to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) during the Jan. 9 meeting of county council.

Funding for the water main on Athol Road will require approval of the application and, also, funding from the Municipality of Cumberland County.

“The ICIP program will fund 73 per cent between the federal and provincial governments, and that would leave about $378,000 for the municipality to fund,” said Justin Waugh-Cress, director of engineering and operations with the municipality of Cumberland County, during the council meeting.

The county is looking at two options for funding the $378,000.

One option is to dip into the Springhill Water Utility Depreciation Fund.

“There is about $1.1 million in the depreciation fund,” said Waugh-Cress

The other option is to increase water rates in Springhill.

“If we’re going to do that over a 20-year period of borrowing for the $378,000, it will add about $5 a quarter to the water bills in Springhill,” said Waugh-Cress.

Whatever option is decided upon, Waugh-Cress leaves little doubt that a new water main is needed on Athol Road.

“If someone in one area is taking a shower, then other people can’t use their water. It’s that bad,” said Waugh-Cress while pointing to a map of Athol Road. “And we see frequent water breaks in that area too. The piping used would not meet any kind of standard today.”

The current water main is made of both cast iron and small-diametre plastic piping, and will be replaced with a 1.6 kilometres of 200-millimetre water main.

“The project would increase level of service to the existing 60 customers, would extend water service to 10 additional customers, would allow full fire flow for the entire area, and it would reduce the maintenance costs of the frequent repairs,” said Waugh-Cress.

Councillor Ernie Gilbert put forward a motion to send an application for funding to the ICIP. Councillor Maryanne Jackson seconded the motion.

“I’ll be making that application for this month, and if the application is approved I will throw out a tender and get bids,” said Waugh-Cress. “Hopefully we can replace the water main this summer but it’s contingent on whether or not we get funding for the program.”

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