NB Power rejects Hartland waterfront plans

by | Jul 3, 2024

Crown corporation has concerns about development in flood zone

The town of Hartland is set to meet with NB Power representatives after first being told the company had rejected the town’s proposal for a waterfront development plan on NB Power property.
Hartland council discussed the initial rejection at a committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, June 25. Hartland Mayor Tracey DeMerchant read a letter from NB Power Property Manager Lindy Maguire to council. In the letter, Maguire said the company had reviewed the town’s inquiry regarding the alteration of vegetation and developing property for recreational purposes on NB Power properties. 
Maguire said the company works with municipalities and third parties to facilitate development on company property without interfering with operational requirements or negatively impacting the land. 

“In this instance concerns exist with respect to alterations of these lands which are located within a flood zone,” said Maguire. “For operational requirements and in order to mitigate erosion to the lands, the vegetation should remain intact with no alteration. We understand this is not the desired response, however for those reasons provided, we trust you understand NB Power’s positions.” 
In the days since the council meeting, the company has agreed to meet with the town. Clayton Beaton, communications officer for NB Power, said the company has since reached out to the town to arrange a meeting “to gain a clearer understanding of their request and to explore possible solutions.” 
Hartland Chief Administrative Officer Rob Webber confirmed the town had been in contact with NB Power following the council meeting. A meeting is set for Thursday, July 4, in Hartland. He said a few representatives from NB Power are expected to be in person. 
“The hope overall is we could find a way to protect the interest of NB Power but also allow the waterfront development to go forward for the town,” he said. 
At last month’s meeting, Webber read the email he wrote in response to the rejection, telling the company it had “taken a position in its own interest that dismisses and disregards the interest of Hartland’s 4,000 residents to develop the area waterfront.” 
He added that the town is confident that NB Power’s concerns could be fully “addressed and resolved through effective design planning as they have been involved in numerous waterfront projects across New Brunswick, including several on the St. John River.” 
Webber also read an email he had sent to Carleton MLA and Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Bill Hogan, in which he said NB Power management reached the decision without speaking to designer Dan Glenn or anyone at the town office involved in the project. He concluded the letter by asking to meet with Hogan and Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development Ted Flemming in person. 
Communication and Development Specialist Michelle Derrah said she contacted the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) and ACOA about the hurdle. Derrah noted that NB Power was never provided with the town’s plan and had just been asked for a 15-minute conversation with Dan Glenn of the Glenn Group so feedback could be received. 
The town held an open house on May 21, during which Glenn and town officials revealed plans to revitalize its waterfront. 

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