HARBOUR GRACE, N.L.
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.
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 - something the newly sworn in council was not interested in, seeing it as a possible financial burden for the town.
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 five-year 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 five-year 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.