Spa­niard’s Bay business park pro­gress­ing

241-acre site almost fully ser­viced for wa­ter, sewer

The Compass - - OPINION - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.

Gov­ern­ment grant

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.”

Com­pass file photo

Spa­niard’s Bay Mayor Wayne Smith.

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