Har­bour Grace makes pitch to take over Harvey Street

Coun. Stone ar­gues with mayor over town’s pri­or­i­ties in light of meet­ing with MHA, MP

The Compass - - News - BY ANDREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

HAR­BOUR GRACE, NL — The Town of Har­bour Grace re­cently pre­sented a pitch to the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to take own­er­ship of Harvey Street.

Ac­cord­ing to min­utes from a spe­cial meet­ing held June 12, the prov­ince would need to meet sev­eral con­di­tions prior to a full trans­fer of own­er­ship.

The town is ask­ing gov­ern­ment to resur­face sev­eral por­tions of Harvey Street, plus Jamie’s Way and Cathe­dral Street, as well as wa­ter and sewer up­grades along the west­ern end of Harvey Street. Har­bour Grace would also ask the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Works to sup­ply the town with two pieces of snow clear­ing equip­ment. It wants all work com­pleted be­fore the end of 2018.

All coun­cil mem­bers ap­proved the mo­tion passed June 12 to con­tact Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and Trans­porta­tion and Works, ex­cept for Coun. Kathy Tet­ford. Harvey Street is a provin­cially-owned road that’s part of Route 70. Use of the road has de­creased since Vet­er­ans Memo­rial High­way opened 15 years ago.

Just as the min­utes for the spe­cial meet­ing were about to be ap­proved dur­ing the Wed­nes­day, June 28 coun­cil meet­ing, Coun. Gor­don Stone brought up his con­cerns about a meet­ing the mayor at­tended with two res­i­dents at the of­fice of lo­cal MHA Pam Par­sons to dis­cuss is­sues with wa­ter ser­vice in River­head in late May. Avalon MP Ken McDon­ald was also at the meet­ing.

Stone ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment Barnes did not dis­cuss with coun­cil his in­volve­ment in that meet­ing, feel­ing it could have bet­ter in­formed the dis­cus­sion at the June 12 spe­cial meet­ing.

Barnes dis­agreed.

“That had noth­ing to do with Harvey Street,” the mayor said, later adding it was a res­i­dent who in­vited him to that meet­ing. “It was try­ing to get wa­ter and sewer up to the Thick­ett. It had noth­ing to do with Wa­ter Street.”

Stone how­ever said he was told Barnes in­formed all par­ties present that the town’s pri­or­ity item was a new wa­ter project to serve River­head.

“That in­for­ma­tion plays a big role in what we dis­cussed with Harvey Street,” he said.

Barnes told Stone and other coun­cil mem­bers at the meet­ing that he sim­ply iden­ti­fied the wa­ter project as a pri­or­ity for the town.

Stone sug­gested the mayor’s ac­tion of pre­sent­ing a pri­or­ity in such a set­ting with­out the town’s knowl­edge was “not the right way to do busi­ness on be­half of the peo­ple of Har­bour Grace.”

When asked af­ter the June 28 coun­cil meet­ing by The Com­pass whether she felt the mayor was fram­ing the wa­ter project for River­head as the pri­or­ity project for the town, Par­sons said no.

“No, there was a num­ber of pri­or­i­ties dis­cussed, but the mayor did in­di­cate that it is a pri­or­ity, but at the same time, he did not in­di­cate that the other projects were not pri­or­i­ties ei­ther.”

Ap­prox­i­mately 22 homes rely on wa­ter from Mercer’s Well in River­head, and there have been a lot of dis­rup­tions to ser­vice over the years. Sev­eral res­i­dents at­tended the April 26 meet­ing, where Lyda Byrne made a lengthy pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil about the is­sue, ask­ing for a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion from the town.

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

The Town of Har­bour Grace wants to es­tab­lish an agree­ment with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to trans­fer own­er­ship of Harvey Street to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

ANDREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

There was some heated de­bate at the Wed­nes­day, June 28 coun­cil meet­ing about the town’s pri­or­ity projects. Pic­tured, left to right, are coun­cil­lors Gor­don Stone and Kathy Tet­ford.

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