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Kelly digs for bright side to sewage plant shutdown

In life, when you find yourself in a crappy situation, it can be best not to get bogged down.

In life, when you find yourself in a crappy situation, it can be best not to get bogged down.

That’s the approach of HRM Mayor Peter Kelly, who discovered Tuesday that the much-hyped Harbour Solutions Project will be shut down for a year, leaving thousands of tons of raw sewage to be pumped into the Halifax Harbour daily during a busy tourism season.

But Kelly is taking the optimism route.

“It is a fact of life and you can’t control everything in life,” he said. “You deal with (problems) the best you can. We are doing that. We’ll get it fixed, we’ll get it back in operation and we’ll get it as good as or better than it was before.”

The $54-million facility was put out of commission until next spring after a Jan. 14 power outage triggered a flood. On the bright side, repairs shouldn’t cost HRM any money.

The plant was insured and only four months into a three-year warranty. The insurance policy can go up to $66 million, including $50 million for water damage.

“It should be more than enough,” Kelly said.

But new improvements on top of the original project could cost extra. Kelly said it’s too soon to know the potential cost of those updates.

Another factor is the summer tourism season. In particular, the Tall Ships festival is expected to bring thousands of people to the Halifax waterfront, with the water potentially smelling less than fresh.

But officials aren’t expecting to see visitor numbers take a hit, according to tourism department communications director Mike Noonan.

“I still think that Halifax can and will be seen as a good destination for visitors. There are so many events and resources available to visitors in the Halifax area,” Noonan said.

“There’s still a tremendous amount to recommend the city as a destination.”

 
 
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