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First phase of Grand Bank’s redevelopment project stalled until next spring

A significant portion of the first stage of Grand Bank’s downtown and waterfront redevelopment plan will focus on this corridor from Warren’s Store to the Grand Bank Lions Centre.
The first phase of Grand Bank’s downtown and waterfront redevelopment plan includes major changes to this corridor from Warren’s Store to the Grand Bank Lions Centre in the Church Street area. - Paul Herridge

GRAND BANK, N.L.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

The first phase of the Grand Bank downtown and waterfront redevelopment project has been further delayed.

It won’t start until next spring, at the earliest.

The project initially went to tender in late July with a two-week deadline. While several companies picked up the tender information, no bids were submitted.

The deadline was then moved until the end of August with expectations, after consulting with some of those companies, that bids on the approximately $870,000 project would be forthcoming.

During the town council meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20, however, town manager Wayne Bolt said that didn’t happen. So, the town’s engineers, SNC-Lavalin, asked each company individually, as per the Public Procurement Act, if they would submit a tender.

“We received one, and that one was over double the money we had approved,” Bolt told councillors.

Bolt said the plan now is to tweak the tender, based on discussions with the contractors, to make it more specific. A new tender will then go out with a six-to-eight-week deadline to complete, he said.

“Therefore, what happens then, let’s say we get it out the first or second week of October, by the end of November, in that area, we’ll have it in. Then if we need to apply for money, extra funding, we’ve got the opportunity to do so,” Bolt explained.

Bolt said the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the provincial government have been apprised of the situation and are fine with that plan. The town has received assurances from ACOA the money will still be there, Bolt said.

During the discussion, Mayor Rex Matthews and Coun. Stan Burt raised concerns about inaccurate project cost estimates.

“Every big project now, it seems like we’re running into the same thing,” Burt said. “We ran into it with the pool (and) with the (municipal) garage.”

The first stage of the town’s redevelopment plan includes streetscaping in the corridor from Warren’s Store to the Grand Bank Lions Centre, including a cobblestone area. As well, the town-owned land on the corner of Water Street and Riverside West will be developed into a green space.

It was initially hoped the work would start in mid-July.

Bolt said waiting until next spring to start the project is probably wiser than rushing things this fall.

“To me, I think this would be a lot better ending for the town, by getting all the prices in before the end of the year, and then if we’ve got to apply for (more funding), we can have everything ready to go (by) April (or) May,” he said.

paul.herridge@southerngazette.ca

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