Petitcodiac River property purchases cause concern
The provincial government paid $1M on buying the four properties
A Riverview family says they feel left behind by the provincial government after four properties along the Petitcodiac River were purchased for a total of more than $1 million.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has purchased four properties that were considered to be at risk of future flooding or erosion because of the decision to open the causeway.
The provincial government assessed more than 700 properties upstream from the causeway before deciding to purchase the properties.
Jim and Susan Davis moved to the area in 1999 and they say they thought they had found their dream home.
"We saw the house, it looked out over the lake, it was beautiful, we loved it and we bought it," Susan Davis said.
The couple says when they moved to the area, they had no idea about plans to turn the lake back into a river.
The causeway was built in 1968 between Moncton and Riverview and that created a lake.
Many people who purchased homes along the lake opposed the idea of opening the causeway’s gates in April 2010.
Jim Davis said the provincial government didn’t offer them the chance to leave the area.
"The fact that we were not even approached to see whether or not we wanted to move, yes, it's a cause for concern," he said.
The couple says there's more at stake than flooding because of the changes made to the flow of the Petitcodiac River.
They say they have both developed severe allergies because of the polluted air they breathe, which they believe has been caused by the raw sewage that is now flowing down the river.
And in the summer, they say the air quality is so bad that they keep their grandchildren inside the house.
These changes in the last few years are causing them to be concerned about the future value of their house.
"We bought our property as an investment for us as an asset and for our children as well, and now ... it doesn't appear to have any value," Susan Davis said.
The four residences, which were purchased by the provincial government will be removed in the spring or summer of 2013.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure refused to disclose how much taxpayers paid for the properties last week, citing privacy rules.
However, Service New Brunswick’s website shows the four properties were sold for between $225,000 and $300,000. The total bill for the four properties was more than $1 million.