Spaniard’s Bay business park progressing
241-acre site almost fully serviced for water, sewer
The transformation of the Veteran’s Power Centre in Tilton from abandoned space to power centre may not be evident from the Veteran’s Memorial Highway.
From there, motorists can only take heed of the work done at the front of the property. They see earth piled up, land-clearing equipment and stretches of converted space.
But, that is only a small piece of the 241-acre mega project being undertaken by Karwood, a Paradise-based construction company.
What you cannot see is a hillside with a full complement of roads and storm gutters nestled between the Spaniard’s Bay and Tilton turnoffs.
“By all accounts, the project is well- ahead of schedule,” said Spaniard’s Bay Mayor Wayne Smith. “We are extremely pleased.”
At its Jan. 19 regular council meeting, the town approved another payment geared towards completing infrastructure at the site.
The mayor figures when the winter turns to spring, the town will be one or two weeks away from having the site completely serviced with water and sewer. It was in September when the town approved a $1.5 million contract with Cougar Construction to do just that.
The Veteran’s Power Centre is a high profile project in the region with the potential to be an alluring economic centre in the very near future. Up until last summer, the project appeared to be treading water.
Aside from early work done by past developers, the site was more eyesore than eye-candy. It sat dormant for more than a year before Karwood took control of the project.
Although work has stopped for the winter, Smith believes things will start ramping up quickly once nicer weather hits.
“We’re hoping it’ll get moving by 2016,” he said with respect to work on actual buildings.
An integral part of the project will be the installation of an additional overpass down the hill from where the main entrance is now.
That will alleviate any concerns about traffic build up and having consumers cross a busy Veteran’s Memorial Highway to access the area. The plan also includes connectin g t o e x i st i n g r oads in Spaniard’s Bay to give residents easy access.
Obviously, an overpass would be a costly venture. To that end, the town has applied for funding through the New Building Canada fund. It is a $14-billion fund aimed at supporting projects of national, regional and local significance that promote economic growth, job creation and productivity.
The town is confident this grant will come through.
“We feel there is no doubt that (the overpass) should fall under the Building Canada fund,” said Smith.
School board building committee
In October, Spaniard’s Bay purchased the empty school board building across from Restaurant 99 on the Conception Bay Highway.
At the time, the town was exploring its options with Smith stating council would take its time when deciding what to do with the 22,100 square-foot building. Furthermore, the land that goes with the building is 2.4 acres.
Fast-forward three months and the town is following through on its plan to strike a committee to do some digging and see what options are out there for the building.
Tabbed to form the committee are Deputy Mayor Paul Brazil along with councillors Tony Dominix and Lewis Sheppard.
“They’ll do some investigating and see what to do with the building,” said Smith. “You won’t know our options until you get into it.”
Spaniard’s Bay Mayor Wayne Smith.