There’s got to be a better way
The economy in Conception Bay North has been on an upward trend for the past six to eight years, and it’s evident in the number of housing starts in places like Bay Roberts. Already this year, the town has approved 64 housing starts, which is another record.
There’s similar growth in neighbouring towns, and there’s even talk of a 100-acre subdivision in Spaniard’s Bay-Tilton.
It’s being fuelled by the region’s close proximity to the capital city, and megaprojects in places such as Long Harbour and Bull Arm.
This is heartening when you consider the hardship and uncertainty that many regions of the province are experiencing.
The business sector is taking notice of this growth, and are showing greater interest in the region. In response, a massive 240-acre “power centre” is in the early stages of development in Spaniard’s Bay-Tilton.
And last week, the Town of Bay Roberts passed a motion at its regular meeting to spend big money on the purchase of Crown land to develop its own business park. We should note that the motion passed without any debate at the public meeting, or any mention of the price tag. That’s because all the debate took place at a privileged meeting. The public deserves better than that.
But back to the larger issue. We now have two proposed business parks, located less than five kilometres away from each other, competing to attract companies to their sites. In a word — asinine. Any business-savvy person would scoff at such a situation, and so do we.
The one in Spaniard’s Bay-Tilton is being leveraged with private investment, while the one in Bay Roberts is risking taxpayers’ dollars.
We believe there’s got to be a better way. Someone needs to realize how silly this situation is becoming and take action. Here’s a suggestion that will certainly raise eyebrows. Perhaps it’s time that Bay Roberts and Spaniard’s Bay-Tilton — they already share an artificial boundary — consider amalgamation.
That’s right. We said it. Do away with this foolishness. Get together and focus all your attention on developing one business park that will rival anything found in St. John’s, instead of diluting the pot and creating hard feelings.
We challenge those at the helm in both communities to show some creative and inspiring leadership and help create something the entire region can support.
— Terry Roberts, editor