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Grand Bank agrees to 10 per cent hike for Fortune water

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The towns of Grand Bank and Fortune have reached a new five-year water agreement. - Stock image

Towns have signed off on a new five-year deal

GRAND BANK, N.L.

The Town of Grand Bank has reached another five-year agreement to access the Town of Fortune’s water supply.

During its meeting on Monday, Oct. 15, Grand Bank Town Council approved the terms of the renegotiated deal.

It will see Grand Bank pay an additional 10 per cent, jumping from $44,250 to $48,675 annually. Grand Bank will also pay a $5,625 yearly maintenance fee, up 25 per cent from $4,500.

The agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2018.

Fortune Town Council has also approved the agreement, town manager Wayne Bolt noted.

Mayor Rex Matthews called the contract “fair and reasonable.”

“We’re still getting a real good deal from the Town of Fortune,” he said.

Grand Bank initially struck an agreement with Fortune, which has one of the best sources of water in the province, to tap into its water system in 2007. Grand Bank wanted to improve drinking water for its residents. The infrastructure to connect the two towns cost $2 million.

Grand Bank was paying Fortune $33,000 a year for the service in 2012, according to a story in The Southern Gazette from that year.

The two towns have also agreed to work together to install markers at the Fortune dam at intervals indicating when the water level is severely low.

A caveat in the original agreement allows Fortune to cut Grand Bank off if there is not enough water to supply both communities. That last happened in the fall of 2014 after several months of little rain in the region.

Grand Bank has since made upgrades to its own reservoir so the town can revert to that system if necessary.

Matthews said during the council meeting the town needs significant time to prepare in instances when it could be cut off.

“We don’t want a day or two days’ notice,” he said.

paul.herridge@southerngazette.ca

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