Gas tax funds for Bear River

Lawrence Powell
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Project sends wastewater to Digby treatment facility

By Lawrence Powell

The Spectator

editor@annapolisspectator.ca

 

Wastewater treatment in Bear River will soon receive cost-effective improvements thanks to the federal Gas Tax Fund. West Nova MP Greg Kerr, Nova Scotia Health Minister Leo Glavine, and Annapolis County Warden Reg Ritchie announced funding Saturday for wastewater improvements, the result of an important partnership between the Municipality of the County of Annapolis and the Municipality of the District of Digby.

The $100,353 infrastructure project involves flowing wastewater from the community of Bear River in Annapolis County to a new regional wastewater treatment facility in the District of Digby. The federal funds cover the costs of the project.

Also on hand for the announcement, made at the Changing Tides Café in Bear River Saturday morning, were Bear River Board of Trade member Larry Knox, and Annapolis County councillors Alex Morrison, Gregory Heming, and Wayne Fowler.

 

Safe and Reliable

“Our Government is proud to invest in safe and reliable wastewater infrastructure which not only reduces maintenance costs, saves energy, and protects the environment, but also contributes to the health and well-being of Nova Scotia residents,” said Kerr who spoke on behalf of ACOA Minister and of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs Denis Lebel. “Federal investments in infrastructure projects through the Gas Tax Fund transfer, like the one we are announcing today in Bear River, demonstrate our government’s continued commitment to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.”

“It is important that we invest in our municipal infrastructure, like these changes to the wastewater treatment system, so we can reduce our impact on the environment,” said Glavine, on behalf of Mark Furey, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “I am pleased the different levels of government are able to work together to make these improvements that will benefit the residents and the community in the years ahead.”

 

Pooling Resources

“Pooling of resources instead of competing for resources results in improved economic and community development for both areas,” said Ritchie. “We are eliminating boundaries and working together to benefit residents. We want to thank the federal and provincial governments and the Municipality of the District of Digby for their continued partnership and collaboration.”

“Municipal units are experiencing drastic change,” said District of Digby Warden Linda Gregory in a media release. “Our demographics are changing and, in some instances, population is declining. There is also a continuing need to invest in our communities and provide services. With limited funds, we must prioritize and think differently to maintain sustainable government.”

“Today we are here to recognize the good that can be accomplished when levels of government work together for the betterment of our citizens,” Ritchie said, a sentiment echoed by Kerr and Glavine in their remarks. Ritchie said pumping the wastewater to the Digby facility will save Annapolis County $30,000 a year operationally and $300,000 in one-time capital costs for the county.

“As governments pool their resources the results are improved economic and community development for everyone,” Ritchie said. “By eliminating boundaries, we come together to benefit our residents.”

 

Long-Term Funding

The federal Gas Tax Fund transfer provides long-term funding to municipalities across the country to build and revitalize their local infrastructure. The Government of Canada has now made the Gas Tax Fund a permanent source of funding. To date, the Government of Canada has made over $5,363,635 available to Annapolis County through the Gas Tax Fund to improve local infrastructure.

 

Organizations: Gas Tax Fund, Bear River Board of Trade

Geographic location: Bear River, Digby, Annapolis County Nova Scotia Canada

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