Har­bour Grace no longer ob­li­gated to take over Har­vey Street

Phase four pro­ject fund­ing com­ing back; town to in­clude pro­ject in five-year plan

The Compass - - Saltwire Wheels - BY CHRIS LEWIS [email protected]­n­com­pass.ca

The Town of Har­bour Grace is mov­ing for­ward once again with the Har­vey Street pro­ject.

Har­vey Street has been a hot topic for lo­cal res­i­dents over the years, with many res­i­dents of­ten ex­press­ing their dis­con­tent with the state of the provin­cially-owned road.

The pre­vi­ous coun­cil had ex­pressed an in­ter­est in tak­ing over own­er­ship of the road, how­ever, the coun­cil sworn in last year did not share this in­ter­est, stat­ing it could prove to be a sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial bur­den for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Just be­fore the 2017 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion, ap­prox­i­mately $1.6 mil­lion in fund­ing was an­nounced by the provin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments through the Small Com­mu­ni­ties Fund for phase four of a pro­ject aimed at up­grad­ing Har­vey Street. Phase four in­cluded road work, as well as wa­ter and sewer up­grades. The orig­i­nal plan saw the town con­tribut­ing roughly $373,000 to bring the grand to­tal of the pro­ject’s funds to ap­prox­i­mately $2 mil­lion. Those funds came with a con­di­tion of the town tak­ing own­er­ship of the high­way.

How­ever, not all is lost for those hop­ing for a new and im­proved Har­vey Street.

Dur­ing a reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing in Har­bour Grace, held Mon­day, Nov. 19, the topic of the Har­vey Street pro­ject was brought up again by Coun. Paul Fitzger­ald dur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion of the cap­i­tal and pub­lic works com­mit­tee’s re­port.

Fitzger­ald ex­plained that the De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Works, as well as Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs, had signed off on govern­ment’s end of the deal, mak­ing it so that the town was no longer ob­li­gated to take own­er­ship of Har­vey Street in or­der to re­ceive fund­ing from the Small Com­mu­ni­ties Fund.

Mayor Don Coombs ex­plained to The Com­pass that the pro­ject was back on the town’s radar fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment, and that the in­fra­struc­ture and wa­ter and sewer work in­cluded in phase four of the pro­ject are once again a go.

“They wanted it on the fiveyear plan so we could get it done as soon as pos­si­ble,” Coombs told The Com­pass fol­low­ing the meet­ing. “We’re for­tu­nate enough to get Har­vey Street back up and run­ning, and get it on our pri­or­ity list for next year.

“The town was not in a po­si­tion to take over the street, and we em­pha­sized that to govern­ment. They’re OK with that, so now it’s just a mat­ter of mov­ing ahead with the pro­ject and get­ting things done.”

Coombs noted that the fiveyear plan will be pre­sented by Dec. 21.

Ear­lier this year, coun­cil ex­pressed an in­ter­est in re­al­lo­cat­ing funds of­fered for phase four of the Har­vey Street pro­ject in or­der to work on in­fra­struc­ture along Mercer’s Road, where a well in the area had been pos­ing sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems to res­i­dents who wanted a per­ma­nent fix for the well.

In a let­ter ad­dressed to coun­cil in May of this year, for­mer Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs min­is­ter An­drew Par­sons in­di­cated that due to the sub­stan­tial changes as­so­ci­ated with the Mercer’s Road pro­ject com­pared to the Har­vey Street pro­ject, re­al­lo­cat­ing the fund­ing would breach the terms and con­di­tions of the Small Com­mu­ni­ties Fund.

“The town was not in a po­si­tion to take over the street, and we em­pha­sized that to govern­ment. They’re OK with that, so now it’s just a mat­ter of mov­ing ahead with the pro­ject and get­ting things done.”

— Mayor Don Coombs

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

Phase four of a pro­ject to im­prove Har­vey Street is back on the town’s radar in Har­bour Grace af­ter an an­nounce­ment from govern­ment.

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