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More funds needed before Harvey Street work can start: Harbour Grace mayor

Provincial-federal funds to fix up Harvey Street are reportedly off the table.
The mayor of Harbour Grace says there's still government funding to finalize before work can proceed on phase four of the Harvey Street upgrade. -FILE PHOTO
HARBOUR GRACE, N.L. —

The mayor of Harbour Grace says the town needs to secure additional funding from the provincial and federal governments before phase four upgrades to Harvey Street can begin.

At the Tuesday, Aug. 6 council meeting, Mayor Don Coombs indicated there are misconceptions in the community about recently announced funding for community infrastructure projects through the federal-provincial Investing in Canada Plan. According to a provincial government news release issued July 26, the $1,134,292 project for Harvey Street will involve water, sewer and street upgrades. The combined funding from the two higher levels of government is $925,753, though the mayor indicated the town will not be left on the hook for the remainder of the announced cost, as Harvey Street is a provincial road.

Harbour Grace Mayor Don Coombs
Harbour Grace Mayor Don Coombs

"Usually the town would be paying 10 per cent of that, but the town is off the hook ... in order to do it based on previous governments' recommendation where Harvey Street is a (provincial) government road," Coombs said.

According to the mayor, approximately $900,000 is still needed before phase four upgrades can proceed. That money would cover the cost of catch basins, storm sewers, curbing and gutters.

"We actually can't start until we get that approval because if you put $1.3 million into it, we're going to have to tear it up to get the other $900,000 (worth of work) in," he said, adding the town will need to contact Transportation and Works Minister Steve Crocker to see if this can be dealt with so the job can still start in 2019.

Town CAO Michael Saccary indicated he had already initiated contact with the minister earlier in the day.

"It's no good to do the top without the rest," the mayor later added.

Funding support for phase four of the Harvey Street upgrades was previously announced in the fall of 2017, shortly before that year's municipal election. The previous council was friendly to the notion of taking ownership of Harvey Street from the province in exchange for the funds and other incentives. At that time, the full amount of $2,032,090 was announced by the province.

Following the election that year, the new council decided not to sign off on the funding due to some wariness about looking after Harvey Street on its own.

editor@cbncompass.ca

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