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Tourism Minister Christopher Mitchelmore, left, Premier Dwight Ball and Cow Head Mayor Adrian Payne are seen during a funding announcement at the Norris Point Town Hall on Friday.
Tourism Minister Christopher Mitchelmore, left, Premier Dwight Ball and Cow Head Mayor Adrian Payne are seen during a funding announcement at the Norris Point Town Hall on Friday. - Contributed

Reliable water infrastructure is something that Joe Reid said his town really needs.

It’s important for residents all year, but especially in the tourist season, said the mayor of Norris Point on Friday.

Norris Point, in the heart of Gros Morne National Park, sees a large number of visitors in the summer and early fall, so having a reliable source of drinking water is key for the town.

But Reid said the town’s water system has been the source of many issues for at least the last 14 years.

“It was crumbling,” he said. With that comes a lot of leaks and that means the water often has to be shut off to make repairs. And the repairs have gotten quite costly over the years.

“You don’t know what you’re going to run into when you dig it up.”

And the shutoffs impact the restaurants and inns in the town that are depending on tourist visits to make a living.

“It’s not good,” said Reid.

About 10 years ago the town upgraded part of the system in Neddy’s Harbour, but it wasn’t until last summer that it was able complete a second phase along Main Street, from the town hall to the Bonne Bay Marine Station.

On Friday afternoon phase three of the town’s water main upgrade was one of 20 infrastructure projects on the west coast highlighted in a funding announcement by Premier Dwight Ball at the town hall.

A total of $14 million will be spent in joint federal-provincial-municipal funding through the Small Communities Fund.

The province is contributing over $6.9 million towards the projects and the federal government over $4.2 million.

The upgrade in Norris Point will cost $2,180,000 with the province contributing $1,120,309 of that. The town will contribute 10 per cent of the cost.

Reid said the town will have to borrow its portion of the cost, but is in a good position to be able to take that on.

Phase three will see the water system upgraded from the town hall to the Bonne Bay Health Centre.

As part of the upgrade a booster will be added in the section near the hospital.

“The water pressure at the hospital for the (fire) hydrants is not up to standard,” said Reid.

There is enough pressure in the hospital for sprinklers, but Reid said the pressure on the fire hydrants has been a concern.

The project still has to go through an engineering and tendering process so work won’t begin until next spring and continue into the tourist season.

Reid said it will be congested at times, but the contractors will be doing most of the work on the side of and not directly in the road.

Reid is hopeful that once phase three is completed the town won’t have any issues with its water for a few years. The new infrastructure will have a minimum lifespan of 50 years.

Small Communities Fund — Western Region Projects

Bay St. George South (Jeffreys)

New Artesian Well & Associated Work

Total cost — $145,000

Provincial contribution — $74,516

Bay St. George South (Jeffreys)

Water Distribution System Upgrades

Total cost — $780,000

Provincial contribution — $400,845

Burgeo

Water Main Replacement, Phase 3

Project cost — $525,483

Provincial contribution — $270,047

Channel-Port aux Basques

Bruce II Complex - Dehumidification Unit Replacement and Roofing System Upgrades

Project cost — $258,240

Provincial contribution — $70,254

Channel-Port aux Basques

Taylor's Lane/Anderson's Lane Storm Sewer Replacement and Reconstruction

Project cost — $333,291

Provincial contribution — $141,055

Cow Head

Storm Surge Disaster Mitigation

Project cost — $245,000

$125,906

Deer Lake

High Street Water, Sewer & Storm Upgrade- Phase 1

Project cost — $1,500,000

$634,830

Fox Roost-Margaree

Water Supply Improvements

Project cost — $72,739

Provincial contribution — $37,381

Hughes Brook

Chlorination/Pumphouse Building

Project cost — $675,000

Provincial contribution — $346,885

Irishtown-Summerside

Water System Intake Upgrades Phase 1A

Project cost — $245,000

Provincial contribution — $125,906

Isle aux Morts

Water Main Replacement, Phase 2

Project cost — $250,000

Provincial contribution — $128,476

Kippens

McCarthy's Lane Storm Sewer

Project cost — $890,000

Provincial contribution — $457,374

Lark Harbour

Proposed Water and Sewer, Phase 4

Project cost — $1,500,000

$770,855

Mainland

Water System Improvements Phase 4

Project cost — $255,000

$131,045

Norris Point

Main Street Water Main Upgrade - Phase 3

Project cost — $2,180,000.00

$1,120,309

Port Saunders

Water Storage Tank Replacement

Project cost — $1,610,000

Provincial contribution — $827,384

Ramea

Town of Ramea Water and Sanitary Sewer Upgrades

Project cost — $250,000

Provincial contribution — $128,476

Stephenville

Maple Street Reconstruction

Project cost — $1,150,000

Provincial contribution — $486,703

Stephenville Crossing

Seal Cove Road Water, Sewer & Road Upgrade, Phase 1

Project cost — $500,000

Provincial contribution — $256,952

Trout River

Main Street Water & Sewer Upgrade

Project cost — $750,000

Provincial contribution — $385,427

Totals

Total project costs — $14,114,753

Total provincial contribution — $6,920,626

Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

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