New Brunswick

Province clears houses from Nauwigewauk flood zone

The New Brunswick government is looking for buyers for a pair of adjacent waterfront homes on Darlings Island Road. The only catch: they must be moved.

Tender call asks for bids on homes to be removed from Darlings Island access road

This house at 25 Darlings Island Rd. is one of two houses being offered for sale by the provincial government. The building must be removed from the site. (CBC)

The New Brunswick government is looking for buyers for a pair of adjacent waterfront homes on Darlings Island Road.

There is one firm condition: they must be moved.

The government purchased the properties last year as part of a larger plan to raise and straighten the island's only access road, which is often subject to flooding during spring freshets.

"Bids must be accompanied by a deposit representing 10% of the total bid amount, as well as a clean-up deposit in the amount of $2000," says the tender document.

"All debris resulting from the removal of the assets must be properly disposed of."

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure picked up 25 Darlings Island Rd. on Dec.  18 for $295,000.

The house at 27 Darlings Island Rd. sold to the province for $111,000 on Oct. 31.

The two homes are assessed at $87,000 and $194,000.

Two public buildings across the street, the former Nauwigewauk Fire and Rescue station and the Nauwigewauk Community Club, will be demolished after a decision by club members in the fall.

Darlings Island Road can be seen faintly beneath floodwaters last spring. (Jim Carroll)

"We have until Feb. 28 to remove all the things that we want to," club secretary-treasurer Linda Dodge Anderson said. "We are taking out the windows and the doors and salvaging as much as we want.

"Once we got the official offer from the province — two offers, one for the hall, one of the fire hall — a vote was taken each time, the majority each time was to have the buildings demolished."

Dodge Anderson said the executive is not yet making public how much money the club will get for the buildings.

The club will retain ownership of most of the 25-hectare (61-acre) property on which the buildings sit, with a portion to be sold to the province to allow straightening of the road.

In a statement Monday, a spokesperson said the Department of Transportation is finishing up with the remaining land acquisition needed to raise and realign the road.

"The height of the road will be in line with the elevation of the bridge."

The construction project does not yet have approval to proceed this summer but "will be considered during the upcoming capital budget process."

Power is disconnected at the Nauwigewauk community centre. The building has been purchased by the provincial government and will be demolished in coming months. (CBC)

The Department of Justice and Public Safety bought 35 Darlings Island Rd. in July for $160,000, and a home there has already been removed.

Darlings Island road has been covered by floodwater during several spring freshets over the past 20 years.

The resulting closure of the road has forced residents to wade to dry land or to travel across the water using a variety of small craft.

About the Author

Connell Smith is a reporter with CBC in Saint John. He can be reached at 632-7726