© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Darren Chaisson, left, director of highway maintenance for the province, and John Dalziel look over a map of the proposed new government garage in Brackley.
Moving the provincial government garage to Brackley would effectively double the community’s tax base, says one of the community’s council members.
John Dalziel says from a council perspective, they’re excited the project is even being considered for Brackley.
An open house was held at the community centre Tuesday night where the public got a chance to look over a rough site plan for the project and talk to officials with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
An environmental assessment was done. That, combined with information gathered at the open house, will go back to Environment Minister Janice Sherry.
“It would effectively double our tax base and when you get some tax base you can start offering some services,’’ Dalziel said. “As it is now, we operate on a shoestring budget. We’re a small community, we don’t have any services offered to the community other than our Brackley Commons.’’
There are approximately 340 residents in Brackley.
There are no detailed plans yet. It’s still effectively in the proposal stage but everything seems to point to the Queens County Highway Maintenance Depot moving from its current location on Riverside Drive to Brackley.
The proposed location is 355 Brackley Point Road, not far past the airport roundabout, approximately 400 feet up the road from the Coca-Cola plant on the opposite side of the road.
Dalziel said they were told the province purchased some 80 acres of property for the project.
Darren Chaisson, director of highway maintenance for the province, said the public has 10 days to submit feedback on the project.
“Overall, I think the meeting was pretty positive,’’ Chaisson said. “Everyone seems interested in what we are proposing. There were some concerns around the actual construction.’’
If it goes ahead, the entire project would take about five years to complete and would include an administration building, maintenance garage and materials storage, sand and salt storage, brine station, bridge yard and component storage, culvert storage, sign yard, road and site preparation materials storage, heavy equipment storage and school bus parking and storage.
Even though all of that will be in the municipality of Brackley, the City of Charlottetown will supply the water. City council voted 10-0 in favour supplying water and sewer service. Services will be billed with a 25 per cent premium as a surcharge for services provided outside the city boundaries.
Dalziel said the depot will make traffic a bit busier in the immediate area but it will also help solve one of Brackley’s traffic problems.
“It’s going to slow the traffic down,’’ Dalziel said. “We have traffic concerns now with the road being so congested and the speeds are still quite high. This will effectively lower the speed limit, at least for half of the community.’’
The community council would like to see work underway within the next three to six months. It appears that’s the province’s schedule, too.
Chaisson said after the public feedback is received and passed on to the minister, it will require departmental approval. Then the project goes to tender.
Site preparation work is likely to get underway by October.