Inverness County looks to trim costs related to new Port Hastings roundabout

Inverness County officials say they are working to ensure that residents don't pay all of the $3.6-million cost to move water and sewer lines associated with a new roundabout being built in Port Hastings, N.S.

The roundabout, located near the Canso Causeway, will replace the existing rotary. It is expected to be completed in 2027.

Replacing the rotary will involve relocating water and sewer lines from the current entrances and exits.

The project is being undertaken by the province but the cost of relocating the infrastructure falls to the municipality.

Inverness municipal council voted to foot the bill in June. But it hopes to reduce the cost by applying for assistance from the province.

Cost surprises some councillors

Coun. Catherine Gillis, whose district includes Port Hastings, said she was surprised by the expense of moving the infrastructure.

"Typically when we do a project, our special projects people try to get 75 per cent of the funding and then the rest is transferred to the residents, whether it's sewer or water," she said.

"These residents, because this was unplanned, they won't experience that."

Keith MacDonald, the municipality's CAO, said the work being done to relocate the water and sewer lines will be well worth the cost in the long run.

He said once construction is completed, a major water or sewer break would mean the newly built roundabout would have to be disturbed.

"We want to ensure that that's as limited as possible," he said. By working with [the province] … we can anticipate and plan out where our new infrastructure should go."

MacDonald said if the municipality is not successful in partnering with the province to shoulder the cost it would look for other options.