Feds Support Oxford Sinkhole Exploration
The federal government will invest in the needed research under the sinkhole in Oxford.
The Member of Parliament for Cumberland/Colchester announced a contribution of $68,500 to undertake geophysical testing to better understand the nature of the ground under and surrounding the sinkhole.
Bill Casey says the contribution matches a commitment made earlier by the Province.
The funds are coming from the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency (ACOA), a source that Casey admits seems a little odd. However the MP noted the federal government had a responsibility to the community and other departments balked at any involvement.
Speaking to Six Rivers News, the MP said Transportation, Environment, Health and Safety could not connect with the need, something he described as “a hole in the system”.
One department saw no emergency threat to people, while another saw no danger to the Trans Canada Highway. Casey pressed on, eventually finding a sympathetic ear at ACOA. He said they understood the danger to business and economic development if this thing kept growing.
Casey expressed fear about a small depression on the Trans Canada Highway near the Exit Six on-ramp at Oxford. He said there are known sinkholes on either side of the highway and the depression identified in the right lane of the highway “looks like a sinkhole to me.”
The Town of Oxford has been looking for financial aid from day one. The costs associated with further research are simply beyond the capacity of the town, and certainly The Oxford Lions Club which owns the property where the sinkhole formed.
The new funding will allow some detailed testing and geophysical study of the area under the ground. Officials hope to better understand the depth and size of the challenge which may hopefully lead to a course of action, if not a solution.
Mayor Trish Stewart expressed gratitude on behalf of the town. After thanking a number of people who worked on the project for the last eight months, especially those who tended the site during the early stages of the crisis, the mayor said, “And now, let’s get rolling.”
Click the video to watch today’s announcement from the Oxford firehall.
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