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Dirt deep in planning

Hamlets voice concerns over gravel supply

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Jun 04/01) - Nine hamlets now have control over gravel stockpiles, and they want to make sure the savings that will create will continue after the current supply is depleted.

They're calling for a long-term plan for future supplies.

Control of the stockpiles, previously administered by the Department of Public Works (DPW), was turned over to Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven, Repulse Bay, Rankin Inlet, Whale Cove, Arviat, Chesterfield Inlet, Kimmirut and Clyde River by Minister Manitok Thompson this past week.

Rankin's senior administration officer (SAO), Ron Roach, said the NG should obtain a rock crusher to rotate around the Kivalliq.

"The crusher could go to Rankin for one year and we could stockpile enough gravel to do us for five years," said Roach.

"Then it would be shipped out on a barge to the next community and constantly kept rotating among the hamlets.

"Hamlets would have to cover a portion of the cost to make it feasible."

Whale Cove SAO Roy Mullins said Whale has enough gravel stockpiled to last it for about five years.

He said the transfer's biggest boost to Whale is that it no longer has to fight with DPW over price.

Hamlets have historically paid between $50 to $60 per square metre for gravel.

"Hamlets were never given funding to help them pay for that cost," said Mullins.

"You also had to pay the cost of transporting the gravel yourself, so it's an economic boost to have our own control now."

Like Rankin, the transfer has allowed Whale Cove to begin a number of projects it's been wanting to do for some time.

As for contingency plans, Mullins said Whale Cove could be in a bit of a unique situation.

He said hamlet council believes it has a granular material supply located near the airport.

"We've been advised by people who have been here for a number of years that there's gravel there, once you get down deep enough.

"All you have to do is mix it up, so that's what we're looking at for our contingency plan."