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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Peel Plaza Future



The conceptual designs of Peel Plaza are being viewed by the public, and now it's time to decide where to go from here.
Bill Edwards is in charge of the project and tells CHSJ News, after hearing what the public thinks about the design it's time to go back to the steering committee.

Edwards says after all of the information gathered at the meeting last night at the Saint John Arts Centre is taken to the committee where they go from here will be determined.
Request for proposals will be going out on June 12.

Peel Plaza Parking Garage Design



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[Proposed Design of the Parking Garage at Peel Plaza----Photo by Dave Briggs]

The conceptual designs for the Parking Complex at Peel Plaza are on display, and not all residents are applauding it.
The parking garage design is brightly coloured, with a multilevel skyline, which one resident---who declined media comments---says is too extreme.
He says the old brick building designs of other Saint John buildings is what residents are drawn too, and there is no need to make a parking garage something extraordinary.
ADI Architect Jean-Philippe Foisy tells CHSJ News, where the design is right now is at it's most eye drawing.

Foisy says even though it is a parking garage, there is no reason it can't be fun and be considered a landmark.

Board of Trade Seeks Award Nominees



The Saint John Board of Trade has put the call out for nominations for the 2009 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards. The Board of Trade is looking for entrepreneurs and businesses in Greater Saint John whose efforts and achievements merit consideration for one of five awards.

Finalists and winners will be honored at a special gala Awards dinner in November.

Provincial Official Says Nothing Confirmed - Yet



It's not a done deal - but -- an agreement is moving closer -- that's the word from a provincial government spokesman about infrastructure funding for water projects in the city.
Bruce MacFarlane tells CHSJ News officials from all three levels of government are working on trying to finalize a funding agreement -- he says they're working with their federal counterparts and municipal officials.
MacFarlane says nothing can be confirmed until the deal is signed - sealed - and - delivered.
He tells us it's too early to say if the funding will cover the over 200-million dollar water treatment plant and Glen Falls flood diversion projects -- or -- whether it will be smaller components of the projects.
But -- MacFarlane says once the deal is finalized -- all three parties will join forces to make an official announcement.
Mayor Ivan Court took councillors and the media by surprise Monday night when he indicated the province has committed to its share of both projects -- earlier today -- he told us the province is onboard for 14-million to help with the projects.

K-Park Elementary School Upgrades Get Support



The fight to have K-Park Elementary approved for renovation work has a new voice. The Town will send a letter to the Education Minister asking for the project to improve bathrooms, handicap access and ventilation in the building to be approved as soon as possible. Janice McPherson speaks on behalf of the committee and tells CHSJ News, they are also working with Quispamsis MLA Mary Schryer to secure funding.

McPherson says the top priority on the District Six to do list is a new elementary school for Quispamsis but in order to get the funding for that project, the K-Park committee is hopeful they will get funding for their proposal first.


Peel Plaza Open House Tonight



Tonight is your chance to get caught up with how things are coming with the Peel Plaza proposal. The steering committee is holding an open house tonight to give residents a chance to see plans for the parking garage and the public space for the area as well.

Representatives from the parking commission, Province, the City and Board of Police Commissioners will be on hand to answer any questions. Things get started at 6:30pm at the Saint John Arts Center on Hazen Avenue. 

NB Business Optimism Second Highest in Canada



Optimism among small business owners in the province is the second highest in Canada, after Saskatchewan. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its monthly Business Barometer Index showing small businesses in New Brunswick rate 66.9 on a scale of 100 for performance expectations in the next year. The national average for the month of May was only 60.4.

49 per cent of businesses in the province say the overall state of business is good and only 10 per cent plan to decrease employment levels over the next year. The majority of owners say tax and regulatory costs are the most significant pressure causing difficulties for their business.

Q-Plex Construction Contract Awarded



In just about a year from now, residents in the Kennebecasis Valley will have a first class sports facility to call it's own. This after Quispamsis Council unanimously awarded the contract to construct the Q-Plex Facility to Marco Maritimes Limited last night. Total cost of the project is $20,727,900 dollars which is $235,000 dollars less than the original tender and will be made up with slight changes to the design with concrete instead of asphalt and a new siding in some area's. Mayor Murray Driscoll says clearing of the land will get started right away with the hopes of being finished in 12 months.

The project is still $2.2 million over the original budget and Driscoll says that will be made up through grants, a reserve fund of $1.2 million and the Town might borrow an extra one million dollars.