2017-08-23

Bridgewater anticipates LaHave River fountain will flow again

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>A child gets a view of Bridgewater&#8217;s LaHave River fountain.</p>

Bridgewater expects the H2O to flow from its seasonal fountain in the LaHave River before the summer of 2017 comes to a close.

Officials are waiting for a replacement motor to arrive from the United States before the spray can start in earnest between the town's two main bridges. The estimated cost of the work - including installation - is in the $4,200 range.

The fountain's original motor sustained a mechanical failure early on in the 2017 season.

Patrick Hirtle, a spokesman for the town, said in an email that "our supplier has had a difficult time finding a motor to match the fountain we have ..."

Mayor David Mitchell said people, especially those involved in tourism and photography, have missed it.

"It will be coming back," Mitchell commented to LighthouseNOW after town council's August 14 meeting. "Council is going to do a complete analysis on the operating costs, ongoing maintenance costs and trying to just to ensure we have the right product for the right landscape."

The chief magistrate also wants to see it streaming water in time for upcoming events, such as Afterglow, a nighttime celebration of arts and culture.

Information supplied by the town indicates the fountain was first installed in June 2010.

On average it costs in the $10,000 range per year to operate and maintain the fixture. The money includes an average of $5,712 annually to cover the expense of staff time and renting a crane to install and remove the fountain at the beginning and end of each season.

"We can afford the $10,000 to operate the fountain," Mitchell said. "The question really is if the fountain is going to have ongoing mechanical issues, can we afford a $5,000 part here, a $2,000 part there.

"We kind of need to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and say 'How much is this fountain really costing us each year and is it worth it?.'"

There could be opportunists for cheaper and/or better technology, he said. "If it's going to breakdown every year, every other year, we need to look at why and what we do next."

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