Fredericton — As of today, residents of New Brunswick are being asked to step forward and take ownership of local roads and highways.
“Rather than fix the potholes in many roads, our government will encourage residents to leave them be, and name them,” stated newly minted Transportation Minister Bill Fraser. “We’ve seen how successful building-naming programs have been, and we figured, hey, we may as well tap into a well-known New Brunswick asset.”
Fraser said a pilot project was launched this spring in several areas of the province, with strong results. Residents can name a pothole for an annual fee of $13.50, plus HST.
“Remember, you want to act now, because in 3 weeks, that’s going to cost you an extra 27 cents, after we raise the HST to pay for… We haven’t figured that part out yet, but we will be consulting with stakeholders,” said Fraser.
Fraser stated particularly high returns were expected from pothole-laden roads like Route 105 near Mactaquac, Route 616 near Keswick Ridge and Route 630 south of McAdam.
“Our department has examined these roads, and, due to the extensive nature of potholes in these regions, we will not be undertaking any repairs, despite residents’ requests,” said Fraser. “We hope that residents will instead recognize the benefits to the economy these roads provide through our name-a-pothole program.”
To those residents of pothole-laden roads, Fraser urged them to “think about the troubling economic times” the province is in and “do their part” for a “brighter economic future.”
Fraser also said the pothole-naming program is part of a larger economic plan.
“We constantly receive feedback from mechanics and auto parts stores who praise us for a steady business replacing shocks, struts, suspension components and other thingies that make cars work,” explained Fraser. “Now, with the help of residents in this fine province, we can preserve an amazing provincial asset and the hundreds of jobs created by them.”
Added Fraser, “Now those PC meanies on the other side of the legislature — when we actually are there, that is — can’t accuse us of not doing something to preserve jobs in New Brunswick.”
Stan Smith, a resident of Hanwell, said he was going to purchase a pothole and name it “Brian.”
“Seems fitting,” says Smith, an out-of-work welder, who purchased the pothole to remind him of the current government. “Just like my pothole, we keep shovellin’ money at Brian, and we don’t get nuttin’ for it. Just kinda disappears.”