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Amalgamation


Amalgamation, merger, consolidation place whatever term you wish on it. Rural Newfoundland and Labrador communities will soon have to consider a sharing of services, mainly because of declining populations and rising costs.

Amalgamation, merger, consolidation place whatever term you wish on it.

Rural Newfoundland and Labrador communities will soon have to consider a sharing of services, mainly because of declining populations and rising costs. The high cost of water and sewer, fire protection, waste disposal and more services are becoming too heavy a burden for small communities.

Even centres, the size of Burin, are being challenged to help neighbouring towns with water and sewer servicing and fire protection. The provincial government is mandating regional waste disposal sites for environmental reasons, in the main, and escalating expenses.

A feasibility study into the merger of three Burin Peninsula towns Rushoon, Parkers Cove and Baine Harbour is currently underway with recommendations to be presented to the Minister of Municipal Affairs by the end of September.

There might be more to follow on the peninsula in years to come.

Residents and communities want their independence as theyve known for a long time, but town councils are being taxed to the limit to provide essential services, which their taxpayers are demanding.

These services are costing more and councils are finding themselves in situations where bankruptcy is on their doorsteps, if it already hasnt occurred.

If area communities can organize themselves to pay for one common provider of a service garbage collection, fire protection, snowclearing, etc. then it should happen.

Communities like Burin and Marystown are examples of amalgamations of several communities, which occurred 40-50 years ago. They survive today, and in the main prosper, even with their main industries threatened by a depressed economy.

Many residents, who are forced to leave to find employment, are still looking to return to maintain or build new homes because they still have an identity of community within them.

There will not be a fish plant, or another industry, in every community to support it. Residents will need to commute to regional centres to find work, which will allow them to stay in their homes.

The fear amalgamation will mean a loss of community spirit and identity is certainly not the case in a centre like Burin, where the majority of residents coming from Collins Cove, Burin Bay, Ship Cove, Old Burin, Salmonier, Burin Bay Arm, Salt Pond, Bulls Cove and now Port au Bras continue to support community programs.

When one thinks of amalgamation it doesnt have to be a loss of what once was, but a way of retaining the right and opportunity to remain in ones homes and centres where they grew up and have raised, or will raise, a family.

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