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Column: Capital works priorities, fees going up in McIvers

Dave White
Dave White - The Western Star

A historic year all but in the books, the Town of McIvers heads into 2018 under new municipal leadership and harbouring plans for significant capital works spending.

Winding down from a hugely successful mid-summer 2017 homecoming celebration, the town’s first ever as it played host to some 1,200 expatriates and their families, McIvers (pop. 538) has its first female head of council this year.

Mayor Susan Park-White is heading up plans that include some $5 million in new roadwork, and infrastructure spending that will add about $1.1 million to future taxpayer liabilities.

On council’s capital works wish list this year is $3.6 million for sewer extension to 53 homes on Lower Cove Road and to install water and sanitary services to another 11 residences in the north end of Main Street approaching Cox’s Cove.

Realization of council’s second priority would provide extended sewer service on Park’s Road at an estimated cost of $609,000.

Thirdly, about $1.3 million would be targeted for upgrades to the town’s remaining unpaved byroads.

Meanwhile, the town’s proposed budget for the new year was finalized at council’s regular meeting earlier this month and submitted to the Department of Municipal Affairs for final approval, the McIvers administration reports in its just-released quarterly newsletter to residents, Our Town.


Building permits go up

Some $408,000 has been earmarked for expenditures this coming year without council having to increase the property tax mill rate, or rates for water and sewer services.

As a result, levies are rising to $100 for new residential or commercial construction, to $25 for building renovation and $20 for accessory building.

In her address to residents in Our Town, the new mayor took the opportunity to wish former mayor Warren Blanchard a happy and healthy retirement, writing that he “touched our lives is so many ways … (and) made history and memories that our town will never forget.”

She also took time to recognize other members of the current council, including returning Deputy Mayor Alfred Park and former councillor Herman Matthews, also back on board after serving previously, as well as newcomers Gerri-Lynn Curtis and Dawson Lovell.

With Christmas and the new year looming, Our Town reports that council is again sponsoring prizes of $75, $50 and $25 in McIvers’ annual best-decorated house contest. Four days of judging continues through Friday night.

Meanwhile, the town website,, highlights special open holiday events, including a Come Home Year Committee-sponsored Kids’ Movie Night on Friday, the McIvers Volunteer Fire Department’s annual Boxing Day dance next Tuesday, and the annual New Year’s Ball at the community hall Sunday, Dec. 31, sponsored by the McIvers Community Improvement Club.

Snow joke from a funny guy, maybe, “there’s going to a squid in someone’s stocking” this Christmas, Summerside fisherman Reg MacDonald was heard to quip in an online video he made and posted after reeling in hundreds of the long-armed bandits in North Arm recently.

It has been a boom season for squid migration in the area this year and MacDonald readily notes it is “really late” for them hanging around these parts. Squid are rarely around, particularly after September any year.

MacDonald also recorded the presence of a large leatherback turtle, another rarity, seen swimming nearby in our coastal neighbourhood. He estimated it weighed about 400 kilograms.

All signs of newer times to come? Or, just anomalies? Go, figure.

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at

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