Spaniard's Bay exploring options for providing services to new business park

Bill Bowman
Published on March 15, 2011
Excavators are seen near the sign for Veterans Memorial Business Park near Spaniard’s Bay in this Compass file photo. Work has begun again after many months of inactivity.
Compass file photo

Spaniard’s Bay town officials are expecting word any day from engineers on the best route to take to provide town water and sewer services to the new Veterans Memorial Business Park currently underway near the town.

Mayor John Drover told The Compass town officials sat down with the engineers last week to discuss “the best way to upgrade the town’s water and sewer system to provide those services to the new development without any significant loss of water pressure to residents, especially to those who live in the higher levels of Spaniard’s Bay and Tilton.”

Mayor Drover pointed out the system must also be designed in such a way it does not jeopardize water pressure needed for firefighting in the town.

“We have to decide on the proper and most economical route to go for water and sewer,” Drover said.

The mayor said council has asked its engineers to sit down with the developers’ engineers and work out a plan to bring back to council for approval.

“The developer will be totally responsible for whatever infrastructure is installed on their site,” Drover explained.

That could mean a water tower at the site to help boost pressure, but the engineers will determine what is needed.

As with any other private commercial or residential property, the mayor noted providing infrastructure in the area outside the site is the town’s responsibility.

He said the town has two options for funding the project. “We could approach Municipal Affairs for funding; or we could work out some arrangement with the developers where they would install the infrastructure and we would reimburse them for the costs of installing upgrades to our system.”

He pointed out that would only happen when the project is up and running and generating taxes to town coffers. “There would be no direct cost to residents — they would not be hit with a tax increase,” he stressed.

Considering the expressions of interest council is receiving from developers interested in residential developments in the town, Drover said, “this upgrade of our water and sewer system got to come anyway, and this is probably the ideal time to do it.”

Suggesting the infrastructure is not in any way holding up the project, Drover said, “there is a lot of work to do in there yet.”

Recalling their last meeting with the engineers ended on a positive note, Drover said, “they will weigh the options and bring back a recommendation to council.”

First announced last July, the “power centre” as it was referred to then is a 240-acre commercial development.

Ground was broken last fall for the development, which is going up near the intersection of Veterans Memorial Highway (Route 70) and New Harbour Road on the Spaniard’s Bay side of the Highway.

Suggesting the development is going to be good for the whole area, not just Spaniard’s Bay and Tilton, Drover said they’re getting “lots of positive feedback from other towns in the region. It won’t be detrimental to other towns, and it will be good for the man in the street,” he said.

Some kind of underpass is going to needed to allow traffic to access the centre from Veterans Memorial Highway. Drover said he understands that has already been approved and could be ready to go to public tender sometime this spring.

Spaniard’s Bay businessman and developer Brad Roberts, who is the driving force behind the venture, said last summer the multi-million-dollar project could create an estimated 2,000 jobs within 10 years.

He described it as a combination of the Stavanger Driver and Kelsie Drive power centres in St. John’s and Donovan’s Business Park in Mount Pearl.

Kent Home Improvement and Tim Hortons were the first two tenants the developer has mentioned publicly.

Since the project was announced Roberts has been travelling across Canada drumming up new business for the venture.

The Compass has learned recently other outlets have since signed up to set up shop in the park.

Roberts could not be reached for comment.