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Amalgamation feasibility has opponent in West Bay

Henry Gaudon
Henry Gaudon - Star file photo

Alphonsus Young, a resident of West Bay, is bitterly opposed to a proposal by the local service district he lives to amalgamate with the Town of Lourdes.

In fact, that local service district, along with the local service district of Piccadilly Head, has put forward a request for the amalgamation and a study into it took place this year by Stantec Group.

Two meetings were hosted by Stantec in August to discuss the feasibility of amalgamation.

Young attended the first meeting and he felt the consultant was trying to sell it to residents and that it was tied to the two local service districts hooking up to the Lourdes waterline but that’s not something he wants.

“To my mind it’s not good water to be drinking as the brook it’s taken from is located next to an abandoned American site,” he said. “They (Americans) buried a lot of stuff on that site.”

Young said he had his own well dug and other people come to his place to get water.

He said West Bay has what it needs right now and that amalgamation would not get them sewage service, just a waterline that he doesn’t want. He said fire protection, garbage collection and ambulance service is already in place.

Young said he doesn’t like the fact he will be forced to pay for water, whether they tap into the system or not.

He said he can’t see Lourdes spending money on running a waterline when the solution is drilling more wells in West Bay Piccadilly Head to solve any issues with water.

“Why not go with drilled wells instead of this bad water? What I got is natural water with no chlorine in it that can harm my body,” he said.

Young feels it’s strange suggest that to get this water source, you have to amalgamate.

However, Henry Gaudon, a resident of Lourdes and former mayor and councillor of the town, said there’s nothing strange about this at all as the Town of Lourdes wouldn’t agree to even look at the feasibility of amalgamation unless it was tied to the water system.

He made it clear that he wasn’t speaking as a representative of council but as someone who was involved in the Lourdes water system since its inception about 20 years ago.

Gaudon said in regards to the former American site, an independent environmental study was conducted on it back in 2002 and 2003 prior to final approval of the waterline, with no chemicals found.

He said the Town of Lourdes never asked for amalgamation. The two local service districts asked for it and Lourdes is amenable towards it, but only if it’s feasible.

“I can say with certainty that Lourdes has one of the best water supplies on the island and these things about water causing diseases are childish,” Gaudon said. “I question the motives of anyone who is against amalgamation based solely on the quality of the water that will be supplied to them.”

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