Feds, province governments come through with $400,000 to complete wharf project
BY JOHN DECOSTE
Kings County Register
August 30 was a red-letter day for the Bay of Fundy community of Harbourville.
With standing room only in the Harbourville hall, West Nova MP Greg Kerr announced $318,000 in federal government support to complete improvements to the community’s wharf.
Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Ramona Jennex then took centre stage, adding a provincial contribution of $100,000 through the Department of Economic and Rural Development.
The funding will allow the Harbourville Restoration Society (HRS) to complete its harbour wharf project with a retaining wall on the east side of the harbour and an improved access road from Highway 360 to the wharf. “Last Monday, when the excavators and the giant cement ‘Lego blocks’ started moving in, what was only a dream until now started to become a reality,” said HRS chairwoman Tina Lutz. “This makes it all worthwhile.”
Lutz said it was great to hear the news, “but even better to see the equipment move in and the work actually start.”
Lutz noted the completion of the project has been a long time coming – 12 years, in fact, “since HRS was formed and started working on restoring the wharves” back in 1997.
Improvements on the outer portion of the east side of the wharf were completed first, with the assistance of the Annapolis Valley First Nation. The west side of the wharf was completed in 2003 with the help of ACOA.
The current project will construct approximately 300 feet of retaining wall and improved road access on the east side of the harbour. “All but 29 feet will be covered by the money we’re receiving today,” Lutz said. “The rest will be covered by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, as they own the land. “It’s very exciting - and it’ll be more exciting when it’s finished.”
Kerr noted HRS, and Lutz in particular, “remind me of the little engine that could. “It’s been a long and winding road to reach this point,” he said, but, “it takes time to do things right. “A lot of times, things seem like they should be simple, but to get something like this done, it takes a lot of time, commitment and effort.”
Harbourville, Kerr suggested, is “one of those little gems we can’t afford to lose.” That the community “has its act together and was ready to go” certainly worked in its favour. “That’s why I’m pleased to be here today to announce more money than we originally planned.” Simply stated, “the little engine that could, did.” “I know how hard this community has worked (over the past 12 years),” Jennex said as part of her announcement. “I honour that commitment, and that of all the past chairs and Tina, the current chair. “Good things happen when we all work together toward a common goal. You should be very proud of all your hard work.”
All three political parties were represented at the announcement – the federal Conservatives, the provincial NDP government, and Kings West Liberal MLA Leo Glavine, who has worked tirelessly on HRS’s behalf. “The real credit,” Glavine said, “should go to the people of Harbourville, led by the restoration society, who wouldn’t give up on something they first envisioned 12 years ago.”
The community, he said, “persevered for 12 years, and through a variety of governments. This is their crowning moment, with a second commitment from the federal and provincial governments and the municipality.”
He stressed the community itself “raised between $75,000 and 100,000” toward this latest phase, “which is quite a feat for a community this size. I’ve always been inspired to go the extra mile on their behalf.”