Public Meeting for Bear River – Feb 15.12

by Jonathan Riley – The Digby Courier

No decisions made on sewage treatment

Topics : RCMP Bear River First Nations Digby Annapolis County Bear River 

The people of Bear River will get to hear from and speak to representatives from their municipal governments on Feb. 15, 2012.

Deputy Warden Jimmy MacAlpine of the Municipality of the District of Digby and Warden Reg Ritchie of Annapolis County will be holding a general meeting in Bear River on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

The impetus for the meeting came from the police advisory committee of the Municipality of the District of Digby. Members of the RCMP from the east and west sides of the river will be in attendance as well as senior safety coordinators and the CAO’s of both municipalities.

MacAlpine says it is an outreach meeting to let the citizens know what the municipalities are up to and to hear from the people about their concerns and ideas for Bear River.

MacAlpine says one of the topics will be sewage treatment.

A report commissioned by CBCL suggested upgrades to the current waste water treatment plant on the Annapolis side of the river.

The report pegs the upgrades’ costs at $710,000 with $80,000 in annual operating costs going forward.

Municipality of the District of Digby “borrowed” capacity on the Annapolis system under an agreement that would require them to pay a majority of the costs of any upgrades.

The District of Digby could be asked to pay 72 per cent or some $670,000 of the proposed upgrades.

The district councilors voted at their Nov. 28, 2011 council meeting to send a letter of intent to withdraw from the agreement with Annapolis County. The letter was sent in December, giving a year’s notice.

MacAlpine says the Municipality of the District of Digby is currently reviewing options but no decisions have been made.

CAO of the District of Digby Linda Fraser says the letter also proposes if the waste water from the western side of Bear River was removed from the Annapolis system, the upgrades might no longer be necessary.

The Municipality of the District of Digby is looking at two options: building their own mechanical plant on the western side of the river or pumping the water to the Smith’s Cove facility. They have also begun negotiations with the Bear River First Nations to see if they too would like to join in on the project.

MacAlpine and Fraser say no date has been set but they hope to meet with both Annapolis County and the Bear River First Nations before the Feb. meeting.

The public meeting will be at the Bear River Firehall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

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