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(Wednesday, August 1/2001)-- Halifax Regional Municipality has requested that the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board extend their deadline of August 30,2001 for detailed applications for Natural Gas Distribution Systems in the Province.
In a letter to Premier John Hamm sent today, Mayor Peter Kelly expressed the Municipality's concerns with regards to the tight deadlines set by the UARB for the application process and whether new applicants would have the subsequent ability to respond.
Mayor Kelly advised the Province that HRM has discussed the time frame with other municipal applicants and following those discussions, has forwarded a letter to the Board requesting a delay until October 31st. It is understood by HRM that the other municipal applicants will be filing a similar request.
In the same letter, HRM also emphasized its opinion that the Municipality has an important role to play in ensuring the efficient and orderly development of the Natural Gas delivery system. A number of potential partners with whom HRM has had discussions have expressed concern that there is real opportunity for municipalities to obtain local franchises.The Municipality has a responsibility to its taxpayers to ensure that the significant resources and dollars required to participate in the application process are not wasted. Accordingly, Mayor Kelly stated that HRM is seeking clarity from the Province and requesting that support for local municipal franchises be reflected in government policy, to safeguard against any possibilty that the advantages of local municipal franchises are not overidden by the UARB in the interest of a province wide franchise.
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Contact: Mayor Peter J. Kelly
Halifax Regional Municipality