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Old Posted Jun 6, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Project manager hopes city will reach Kyoto targets first
Published Wednesday June 6th, 2007
Appeared on page a6

Collectively, every Frederictonian can help save the environment and it can start with a light bulb.

This is part of the message the City of Fredericton wants to convey to citizens when it launches its Green Matters campaign June 13.

The city is also launching a new website to help citizens reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions by six per cent by 2010.

And this doesn't involve radical lifestyle changes, says Green Matters project manager Sonya Hull.

It can be as small as leaving the car in the driveway on a sunny day and walking to work, she said, or it can as big as applying solar panels to the house to conserve energy.

"City hall can't control what people do," Hull said.

"The best that we can do is engage them, help them feel ownership ... We want people to take pride in the fact that we could be the first city in the country to reach Kyoto targets." The Green Matters campaign launch, which will occur in front of city hall at noon, will give citizens access to resources to green their homes.

Hull said there will be a variety of booths offering hints on how to be more energy efficient.

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation will be giving out free compact fluorescent bulbs and JD Irving will be giving out free trees.

"If every Frederictonian planted a tree, that's a huge deal in terms of reducing CO2 emissions," she said.

During the campaign, which is scheduled to last until at least 2010, citizens can learn how to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions. Their efforts will be measured every year, Hull said.

The city will keep track of car emissions, solid waste, and oil and electricity consumption.

She said sometimes citizens need to be reminded to keep their heat turned low or to try and conserve water.

The city hopes to reduce its corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2010.

Mayor Brad Woodside said the city wants to lead by example.

"It's important that citizens take part because citizens want to take part," he said.

"I think most people, including myself, didn't know how to take part. They didn't know that one person could make a difference. I think what we're doing is enabling the public and the individual to do what they think is right to make a difference." He said the city wants to make citizens realize that one person can make a difference.

"Whether it's recycling, or using different bulbs, or turning more lights off, it all contributes," he said. "The more people do it, the better we are."
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Old Posted Jun 7, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Community groups worry about changes to street system
Published Thursday June 7th, 2007
Appeared on page A4

Twenty-five years of waiting will soon be over, but the construction of the Westmorland Street Bridge ramp brings with it changes to the city's street system.

Those changes aren't going to make everyone happy.

Tonight at the Ducks Unlimited offices at 752 Union St., a public meeting will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to show the plans for street reconfiguration and design.

Fredericton Heritage Trust, Fredericton North Heritage Association, St. Mary's and South Devon neighbourhood associations are calling their own public meeting June 12 at 7 p.m. at the Kinsmen Community Centre on School Street to talk about the city's planning.

The heritage groups are stirred up because the city intends to demolish the 1882-built McFarlane-Neill building at the corner of Union and St. Mary's streets.

More recently, the building was owned by Atlantic Rentals and MacLean Sports.

Mike O'Brien, councillor for the Ward 3 Fulton Heights-North Devon area, said the plan to demolish the building isn't new.

Three years ago, O'Brien, city staff and the local MLA at the time met with the neighbourhood association and outlined a concept plan for the street changes.

"We talked about the potential for truck traffic to be routed off Main Street to St. Mary's Street and the possibility that the building couldn't be retained," O'Brien said.

The St. Mary's Neighbourhood Association had no objection to removing the building at that time.

"That guided the direction for the city," O'Brien said. "Recently, there's some interest groups interested in retaining that building."

Those groups are welcome to express themselves, O'Brien said, but the new plans for the bridge ramp, the widening of Devonshire Drive, Cliffe Street and related traffic changes, aren't built around retaining the structure.

The open house today will show traffic design details and indicate where street widenings will be.

The city has already spent $500,000 to purchase property and begin basic design.

Another $1 million will be spent over the next three years to complete the street reconfigurations.

O'Brien said the provincial government is calling tenders to construct the missing northeast arm of the bridge this year. The bridge system won't open until next year, when the final work to reconfigure the lower end of Cliffe Street and Devonshire Drive is done.

The city's major traffic study five years ago indicated that the opening of the bridge ramp will take between 3,000 and 4,0000 vehicles per day off Union Street between the Westmorland Street Bridge and Cliffe Street.

Union Street residents, who have lived with truck traffic noise for years, will be able to adjust to a quieter atmosphere and lifestyle, O'Brien said.

But the neighbourhood groups holding their own public meeting next Tuesday, say rerouting logging trucks onto St. Mary's Street between Union and Maple isn't a good idea because it's a narrow residential street.

O'Brien said it may take a few more years, but ultimately a realignment of Route 8 and the extension of the Marysville bypass will take truck traffic off Gibson Street.

"The permanent solution is the outer ring road, but that's a generation away," O'Brien said.

In the interim, the city measures will help to ease the transport truck problems.

The city's recently revised municipal plan has set, as one of its goals, elimination of truck traffic through the north side residential downtown.

"We think we've got a real solid plan. It will help traffic flow and economy of the city," O'Brien said.


[Opinion: Maybe I'm not understanding the traffic pattern they're describing, but why would trucks go up St. Mary's between Union and Maple? If they're coming off the bridge and want to go north, wouldn't they get off at the Two Nations Crossing exit? Trucks coming from Devon Lumber would probably be better off going up through Marysville or Barkers Point to the Princess Margaret anyway.]

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Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Past, future about to clash
New bridge ramp | First department store, old blacksmith shop could be torn down for roadway

Published Friday June 8th, 2007
Appeared on page A1
A battle royale could be looming as heritage groups and neighbourhood associations on the north side campaign to save two historic buildings.

City hall unveiled its traffic configuration to complement the construction of the missing northeast bridge ramp Thursday night.

But community groups have already called their own public information session June 12 at 7 p.m. at the Kinsmen Community Centre, 141 School St.

They are concerned council isn't listening to them about traffic and heritage issues.

The city is proposing to use St. Marys Street as the truck access to the bridge.

To do that, it has to expropriate and demolish the 1862-built McFarlane-Neill building at the corner of St. Marys and Union streets to install a turning lane.

The former blacksmith shop survived a number of fires and restorations. In 1882, it became a two-storey brick factory. During the Second World War, it produced shell casings for munitions. The building more recently housed Atlantic Rentals and it's currently owned by Brian MacLean of MacLean Sports Ltd. on Union Street.

MacLean said he was finally given official notice of the city's intent to expropriate his property in March after months of indecision.

"We've been telling them (the city) for 18 months to decide what you're going to do," MacLean said. "We bought the building to develop it."

Now, MacLean isn't even certain how much land the city will claim and what will be left over for his businesses.

"We're not driving the bus on this. It's the city," he said. "We had the ability to go and oppose the expropriation and we choose not to."

While MacLean has hired a lawyer, he said there are too few cases of people succeeding against the city when it wants your land. Instead, his legal counsel will try to wrangle a fair offer for his property, MacLean said.

"Something has to be done with it. It has to be fixed up or torn down," he said. "We didn't buy the building (three years ago) to tear it down. We would have had this block redeveloped by now."

The Fredericton North Heritage Association is concerned about a second building in the path of bridge-ramp construction. The CIBC bank building at the corner of Cliffe and Bowlen streets, now owned by the Masonic Lodge, was one the city's first major department stores.

"This is in an area of the city which has been identified as a study area for possible heritage preservation," said architect Ian Robertson, who is a member of the Fredericton North Heritage Association.

As far back as 2002, Robertson said, the St. Marys Neighbourhood Association urged the city to seek alternatives that would get truck traffic off Union and St. Marys streets.

Cliffe Street and Two Nations Crossing, which are designed to carry large traffic loads and could even be widened, should be designated truck routes, Robertson said.

"Business Fredericton North has requested that the logging truck traffic be removed from Main Street primarily because it's seen as a detriment to business, making it less attractive to shop on Main Street," he said.

"The city's suggested solution is to take the logging truck traffic up St. Marys Street as least as far as Maple Street," he said.

That makes little sense given the number of homes, driveways, intersecting streets -- Dedham, Jaffray and Highland Avenue converge onto St. Marys -- and the grade of the road, Robertson said.

Vanda Rideout, a Union Street resident and member of the South Devon Neighbourhood Association, said her group is also worried.

She said the municipality declined to consult and share its thinking with the neighbourhood until it had drafted a final plan.

"Consultation that should have been done ahead of time with individuals and groups has not taken place." Rideout said. "We're very concerned that there's a plan that's been put in place and we'll be presented with it as 'here, take it or leave it'."

"It makes far more sense to our organization to extend the Ring Road and use Cliffe Street as opposed to using St. Marys Street (for trucking)," Rideout said.

"The other issue many of our members have is maintaining the historical buildings we already have.''

George Wood, president of Fredericton North Heritage Association, said at best the city's truck route plan is a short-term solution.

"They seem to have abandoned the concept of a bypass continuing across Devon," Wood said.

"In older plans, we've seen that road (Two Nations Crossing at Cliffe Street) hooking onto Gilbert Street which runs into Gibson and Canada streets.

"That would move truck traffic away from Main and Union streets in Devon."

[Yeah, that makes sense - funnel trucks away from two buildings and have them go right through Marysville, a federally-designated heritage district]


Road reconfiguration leaves residents divided
Published Friday June 8th, 2007
Appeared on page A3
The City of Fredericton on Thursday night unveiled its road reconfigurations to accommodate the promised construction of the Westmorland Street Bridge ramp this year by the province.

At an open house at the Ducks Unlimited offices on Union Street, the city displayed maps and aerial photographs of the Union to Cliffe Street intersection changes.

Opinions are split on how the revamped roadway system will work.

St. Marys Neighbourhood Association chairman Wayne Gunter worries that the upgrades to the Union and St. Marys streets intersection will diminish efforts to rehabilitate and restore the area's residential quality and history.

At that corner, the city plans to expropriate and demolish the McFarlane-Neill building, a one-time brick factory some argue merits protection.

With the building demolished, trucks heading west along Union Street will be able to use a right-turn slip-off lane to get onto St. Marys Street and to access the Ring Road and Westmorland Street Bridge.

There will be a centre lane to direct through traffic to Main Street and a third lane that will allow traffic to turn toward Devonshire Drive along the St. John River or to access side streets such as Bowlen, Hayes and Balsa.

At Cliffe Street, the city will build a full intersection with traffic signals and turning lanes that will collect and disperse traffic coming off the new bridge ramp.

Gunter is loathe to encourage truck traffic on St. Marys Street.

"We're trying to return these residences away from the drugs and the prostitutes ... We're trying to upgrade this to a good residential area and people with higher incomes do not want to reside in high traffic areas," Gunter said.

"This deters us from moving ahead with new development and that's kind of a very big obstacle."

McKeen Street resident Tim Richardson supports the city's plan because it will quiet the area surrounding historic St. Marys Landing and its mid-19th century homes.

"Aspects of the plan work for me because it removes truck traffic from Union Street through what right now is our neighbourhood ... It means, in my view, a more cohesive neighbourhood," Richardson said.

Moving the trucks even a block further means the neighbourhood will be safer and quieter, he said.

Richardson questions why saving the McFarlane-Neill building has suddenly become an issue. Sacrificing a building with dubious historical value is worth it to improve community safety, he said.

Assistant engineering and public works director Bruce Baird said the city isn't altering the traditional use of St. Marys Street because it's always been a truck route.

The benefit with the city's plan is that it allows Union Street west of St. Marys and Main Street to become designated for local truck deliveries only, Baird said.

Ward 2 Coun. Bruce Grandy said Main Street residents wanted truck traffic reduced on their street because it poses a safety risk to the children at Nashwaaksis Memorial School and is a neighborhood nuisance.

"Trucks were going by, vibrating the windows. I was there when I was campaigning and these people had me in their houses. It just vibrated," Grandy said.

"It's our opinion as the city to have the transport trucks go up there (St. Marys Street) than having them travel the whole length of Main Street," Ward 3 Coun. Mike O'Brien said.

"We want transport trucks off Union, off of Canada Street, off of Gibson Street. The municipal plan identifies that, but that's a generation away."

Some residents said the city should convert Cliffe Street and Two Nations Crossing into truck routes, but city engineering and public works director Murray Jamer said the city gave a verbal pledge to St. Marys First Nation that the roadway cutting their reserve in half wouldn't be a truck route.

As for extending Cliffe Street to connect to Gilbert Street in Marysville, Jamer said it serves no purpose to take truck traffic out of one residentially-zoned area and shove it into another section of the city which has been designated for residential development.

Ultimately, the Ring Road truck bypass is the solution to get transports off Union and Main streets, he said.
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Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 11:42 AM
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Marysville tops school priority list

Published Friday June 8th, 2007
Appeared on page A1
New schools may be in the works for students and staff in the Hanwell and Marysville areas.

District 18 officials are considering building a school in the Hanwell area and another in Marysville to replace the aging Alexander Gibson Memorial School.

Both projects were discussed at a district education council meeting Thursday night during a presentation on capital improvement projects.

The Gibson school, which was built in 1926, is listed as a priority.

"Two years ago, we requested the Department of Education do a study on the condition of the school, but it didn't go through," said Jeannine St. Amand, chairwoman of the education council. "We went ahead on our own and hired an outside engineering firm do an assessment on it."

The facility assessment found the school in dire need of repair, according to St. Amand.

She said an upgrade just to bring the school up to current building codes would require almost $6 million in repairs.

Supt. Alex Dingwall said there are no safety concerns at the school, but it needs everything from new exterior walls and electrical work to a new ventilation system.

"We could continue with normal operations at the school, but it's not up to code at all," he said. "Even with $6 million, we couldn't bring the older section of the school up to code because it's wooden framing."

St. Amand said the council passed a motion to look into the possibility of building a new school instead of making the repairs because there isn't much of a difference in costs.

"A new school is between $7 million and $8 million, so it's time we consult with the community and school administration to decide what direction to take next," St. Amand said.

She said there's been no decision regarding a school in the Hanwell Road area, but council has received letters from parents requesting one.

"We'll do an internal review of the area, including costs and population, to see if a school on the Hanwell is viable," said Wanda Bauer, director of administration and finance for the district. "Once that review is done, we'll decide what we want to do."

Another project in the capital improvement plan is $15.7 million in renovations to Fredericton High School.

Bauer said the cost for new

windows is phenomenal and the building has 35 different roofs that need repair.

Fredericton High School isn't usually on the major capital improvement list, Bauer said, but it's too hard to get ahead when only a few repairs are done each year.

"We've done a lot of work at the school over the last few years. The school is close to 40 years old, so major upgrades are needed."

The major-projects list also includes renovations to Doaktown Consolidated School and the next phase of construction for the Kimble Road School and the combined Boiestown and Doaktown school.

Some of the smaller projects include heating systems for Kingsclear Consolidated School, a new roof for Nashwaaksis Middle School and green space for George Street Middle school, which is expected to cost $1.8 million.

There are 349 projects on the district list for 2008-2009 slated to cost approximately $26.2 million.

The list has been forwarded to the Department of Education for review.
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Old Posted Jun 9, 2007, 2:38 PM
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Cannon 'too busy' to discuss plans for convention centre, Woodside says
Published Saturday June 9th, 2007
Appeared on page A1

Lawrence Cannon, the federal transport minister, has refused to meet with Mayor Brad Woodside to talk about convention centre funding.

Woodside confirmed Friday that he wrote to Cannon's office to request a meeting in Ottawa to talk about the multimillion downtown-redevelopment project for Fredericton.

The mayor said he was disappointed and shocked when Cannon wrote back to say he was "too busy" to meet.

"I wrote him a lengthy letter, explaining our east-end project, what we have done to date, updating him on the project and requesting a meeting with him," Woodside said. "I requested a one-on-one meeting with the minister.

"Apparently he's too busy to see the mayor of Fredericton. I am very disappointed. I would have liked the meeting. This is a setback."

Downtown Fredericton and the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce are backing the city's plan to construct a convention centre.

It will be connected to the city-owned Playhouse building on Queen Street. Plans also include building an east-end parking garage and work to partner with the provincial government on a modern office building to replace the aging Centennial Building.

The cost of the convention centre and parking garage has been estimated at $15 million, but those estimates are gathering dust as the project hinges on federal uncertainties.

The city has been trying to convince Ottawa to contribute $8 million to the downtown redevelopment.

Woodside said all he wants is an opportunity to put Fredericton's case forward.

"We're not asking for meetings constantly," he said.

"When I ask for a meeting, it's for a very good reason. I would have gone up there, sat down and presented my case on behalf of Fredericton and accepted the answer based on that."

Woodside said he has had to inform city councillors of the minister's correspondence, but he's vowing not to give up the cause.

The mayor said the project is key to the city's future and vital to its economic growth.

A spokesperson for the minister's office couldn't be reached Friday.

[I wonder...would he have the time if Fredericton weren't in Atlantic Canada?]
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Old Posted Jun 9, 2007, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by kirjtc2 View Post
[I wonder...would he have the time if Fredericton weren't in Atlantic Canada?]
lol thats exactly the reason. Moncton and Fredericton are both trying to get these economy boosters and neither city is seeing much progress, Id say mainly because of the view ottawa has of us...pretty sad really.
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Old Posted Jun 9, 2007, 11:16 PM
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You`re right !

Moreover, the confederation act has not been a fair deal for the maritimes, Saint John and Halifax was in the top cities in the english collonies.

Anyway, Moncton, Saint John as well as Fredericton grow relatively quickly right now in the maritime context

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Old Posted Jun 11, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Church to decide future of building
For The Daily Gleaner
Published Monday June 11th, 2007
Appeared on page A1

The fate of a historic Fredericton building could be decided Tuesday night.

Brunswick Street Baptist Church is hosting a business meeting at 7 p.m. to discuss York House, a 114-year-old structure at the corner of George and York streets.

The congregation will hear options for York House and decide upon a church steering committee recommendation that the demolition of York House proceed.

"The purpose of this committee was to examine how to address the ministry needs of the church," said Paul Greene, spokesman for Brunswick Street Baptist Church.

"That was it. Let's look at everything that was on the table and that is exactly what they need."

Greene said the committee of 40 people has been exploring avenues for church expansion for about a year.

He said the group overwhelmingly decided that demolishing York House and proceeding with new construction was the best route to take after looking at dozens of options.

Greene said the church has obtained a demolition permit from the City of Fredericton.

"There does seem to be a consensus within the church that we do have to do something.''

Greene said the church, which has about 900 members, needs additional space.

It hasn't been able to use York House for several months because of the discovery of asbestos, PCBs and lead.

"It's past the point of being able to just sit and wait," Greene said.

The former home of Fredericton High School, York House is one of the oldest buildings in Fredericton.

It was designed by architect James Dumaresq, who is responsible for the look of the New Brunswick legislature and the Charlotte Street School building.

Greene said demolition is not the only option for York House.

The church has also looked at letting York House remain and expanding the church down Brunswick Street. Greene said York House could be sold or leased under this option.

A third idea was to renovate York House and use it for Sunday school and administration purposes.

Greene said the church congregation will decide what will happen.

"There is not one person who decides," he said. "It's the church membership as a whole who decides."

Ian Robertson, past-president of Fredericton Heritage Trust, questioned whether every option for York House has been seriously considered.

"I think that there has been a number of alternative solutions offered either for the building itself or so that Brunswick Street Baptist Church could realize the space needs that are necessary for their continued operation," Robertson said.

"Several architects worked at no charge for the church to illustrate some of those concepts and to the best of my knowledge, those concepts were never seriously considered."

He said there have been examples of where churches benefited financially from saving old buildings and developing them.

He reflected on what the demolition of York House would mean.

"It think it would be a sad day for the City of Fredericton," Robertson said.

"The building has been a part of the city for a long period of time and served a number of very useful needs and still could serve a number of very useful needs."
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2007, 9:56 PM
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"asbestos, PCBs and lead."

wow...I went to that church when I was a kid (only for like a few months but still...) maybe thats why Im so messed up lol
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2007, 11:50 AM
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And down she goes...I really don't care one way or the other, I thought it became somewhat of an eyesore over the past few years...

York House demolition approved
Published Wednesday June 13th, 2007
Appeared on page A1

The congregation of Brunswick Street Baptist Church decided Tuesday night that York House, one of Fredericton's oldest buildings, will be demolished as part of its expansion plan.

There were about 240 members of the church in attendance. One-hundred and ninety-eight -- or 85 per cent -- voted in favour of tearing down the building. Seventy-five per cent was required for the motion to pass.

Demolition was the best option, said Paul Greene, spokesman for Brunswick Street Baptist Church.

"(York House) was built as a 19th-century school not a 21st-century church,'' said Greene. "The renovations would be absolutely huge.''

A multi-purpose building will be built in place of York House. It will house Sunday school classrooms, administration offices and a larger worship space.

York House has been unusable for the last few months because of the discovery of asbestos, PCBs and lead.

A 40-member steering committee was created almost a year ago to examine the church's options.

The committee found that it would need 30,000-sq. feet for the new structure.

"No matter how you worked out the numbers ... it always entrenched on York House," Greene said.

Other options would have seen York House sold, leased or renovated as part of the extension.

Liz Burge, president of Fredericton Heritage Trust, said the planned demolition is a disappointing piece of news.

"The loss of a landmark such as York House is a huge wake-up call to governments to improve heritage laws," she said late Tuesday night.

She wants the church to allow the public to view the plans for the new structure.

"This is a failure for Fredericton in respecting our past," said Burge.

Although the church owns the building, the general public doesn't want to see this building torn down, said Ward 10 Coun. Stephen Kelly.

"The sense from the comments I'm receiving is that Fredericton really doesn't want to see us lose this building," he said.

Despite approval, demolition won't take place soon, said Greene.

The recommended plan would add the new building directly to the side of Brunswick Street Baptist Church, a historic building in its own right.

York House, which is 114 years old, served many purposes, including housing Fredericton High School at one time.
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 3:43 PM
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City council will try to buy York House
Published Tuesday June 19th, 2007
Appeared on page A1

City council has voted unanimously to open negotiations with Brunswick Street Baptist Church to determine if the church is willing to sell York House to the city.

The three-storey, 114-year-old brick building on York Street is slated for demolition.

Mayor Brad Woodside said Monday night's council decision isn't reactive.

The city has been working behind the scenes to find private properties in close proximity to the downtown church in hopes of offering alternative sites for a proposed church redevelopment and expansion, the mayor said.

"This is an opportunity to protection a heritage building. Ultimately, it would be a win-win," Woodside said.

There are owners in the vicinity who are willing to sell property.

The city wants to send its staff to negotiate with the church and inform them of the alternatives for expansion.

The city hasn't purchased any of the alternative sites, but has reassurance they can be acquired, Woodside said.

Brunswick Street Baptist Church bought York House from the city in the 960s for $81,000, but the cost of renovating the building and removing asbestos and lead is too much for the church's budget.

It needs additional space, but wants to wreck York House and replace it with a modern structure more suited to its needs.

The environmental upgrades don't worry Woodside because the main city hall building had similar problems because of its age but was renovated.

Woodside said the city has been scouting for additional downtown office space to ease the crunch at its own historic city hall structure.

Offices for city workers are tucked into every nook and cranny of the building -- even in an old bank vault in the structure's centre core.

"They have needs. We have needs. It's bringing all the parties together," Woodside said.

"This one is doable."

If negotiations can reach a satisfactory conclusion, Woodside said, it would be a win-win for both the city and church.

"Fredericton is known for its history and heritage ... This one does have a special place in the history of our city," Woodside said of York House. "It's a heritage building worth saving. There's a long history there."

The building was designed by James C. Dumaraesq, the same architect who designed the provincial legislative building, St. Paul's Church and Charlotte Street School.

In 1893, York House was built to house Fredericton High School. Since then, it's been a teacher's college, a library, a student employment centre and a youth hostel.

While the church has estimated repairs and renovations would hit the $3-million mark, Woodside said the city wouldn't have to launch into a full-scale renovation right away.

The project could be phased-in at an affordable pace and in a cost-effective manner, he said.

Coun. Stephen Kelly, who represents the downtown ward, said he's heard from citizens of all walks of life on the issue.

"Council has heard loud and clear the deepest public concern at the prospect of needlessly losing one of our most cherished properties," he said.

Kelly said Fredericton's culture and heritage are valued by its citizens similarly to essential public services such as clean water, police and fire protection, and good streets.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Forget York House, here's a building that needs to be saved...

Sale may be close for local train station
Published Wednesday June 20th, 2007
Appeared on page A1

There could be good news on the horizon for the old Fredericton train station on York Street.

Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside said there is ongoing talks between a private-sector interest and the historic building's owners, J.D. Irving Ltd.

"It's a private deal that's being worked on. The city is not involved," Woodside said. "They're very close."

Alex Forbes, assistant director of development services at city hall, said he's optimistic the city will be asked about the property's redevelopment, but an application hasn't yet come to the city.

"We're hoping to receive that shortly," he said.

Woodside said he's optimistic that negotiations will reach a successful result.

"One of the happiest days for me will be when that train station issue has been addressed. It's been there and dragged on far too long and it's long overdue," Woodside said.

A spokesperson for J.D. Irving couldn't be reached Tuesday for comment.

The company has long maintained that it would look at restoring the building if it has a viable business redevelopment plan for the property and its surrounding lands.

A proposal for an office complex to house call-centre offices for a Canadian bank was the best prospect for saving the structure.

But that venture collapsed when the call-centre proponents opted to lease office space in Kings Place mall downtown, rather than participate in the Irving proposal for a new downtown office centre.

Heritage Canada Foundation has placed the York Street train station on Top 10 endangered places list.

The building is designated under the heritage Railway Station Protection Act of 1985. While that bars its owners from deliberately demolishing the structure, nothing in the legislation requires an owner to maintain a minimum standard.

The station's roof is deteriorating and the city required Irving to fence the building because of concern about the building's condition.

A few years ago, a structural anlysis suggested that apart from the roof, most of the building is in good condition.

Fredericton Heritage Trust, Fredericton Trails Coalition and a local group called Friends of the Fredericton Railway have been working to preserve the 1923 Canadian Pacific Railway station. It's one of the last remaining brick stations in New Brunswick.
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Old Posted Jun 21, 2007, 11:33 AM
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Apartments, townhouses approved by city committee
Published Thursday June 21st, 2007
Appeared on page A1

Kileel Developments Ltd. has received a city committee's approval to move forward with a proposed 60-unit apartment building and 14-unit townhouse development on McLeod Avenue.

Company spokesman John Kileel said the earliest construction could start would be this fall. That's providing city council approves the project and all the necessary paperwork follows normal time lines.

The design was approved by the Queen's Square Neighbourhood Association.

It did draw one letter of concern from Robert Brown of A and R Rentals, the company that developed an apartment complex in the same neighbourhood.

Brown said a high-density project will mean 140 cars at the apartment building. A medium-density project would be more manageable, Brown said.

"Queen's Square park was here first. We believe this is why the proposed land was zoned medium-density with the intention to preserve the park as a safe place to enjoy," Brown wrote in a letter given to the committee.

Architect Stephen Skinner of ADI Ltd. came up with the design concept for the Kileel project.

He's grouped townhouses, which mimic Victorian design elements found in neighbouring homes, along the frontage of McLeod Avenue facing the city-owned Queen's Square park.

Skinner then tucked the 60-unit apartment building in behind so that it will be closer to Beaverbrook Street.

Although the apartment building is five-storeys high, Skinner told planning advisory committee members that the fifth floor is the roof level, so the building won't look as


"It's a very sensitive site and a very important site," Skinner told the committee Wednesday evening.

Committee chairman Kevin Rickard, who sits on the city's design review committee, said as long as the design follows the plan, there's no need for it to go to a further design review process.

Don Dennison, spokesman of the Queen's Square Neighbourhood Association, said the group -- representing neighbours in the vicinity -- has no qualms about the project, but it's more concerned with the city's responsibility to ensure there's adequate parking for park users.

Kileel Developments is purchasing land for its development from Abe Khoury, who has relocated his carpet and flooring business to Lincoln Road.

Khoury's former parking lot has become an unofficial parking spot for park users. Once the property is redeveloped, those vehicles will be shifted back to on-street parking.

"I think we have to anticipate there will be a problem and plan for it," Dennison said. "More work needs to be done by the city in terms of parking."

The neighbourhood association's support is contingent on the city reassuring them that steps are taken to keep through traffic on Regent Street and off nearby side streets.

Bruce Baird, assistant director of engineering and public works, said turning Church Street into a cul-de-sac and punching McLeod Avenue through to Beaverbrook Street were steps taken by the city to prepare for the anticipated redevelopment of land on McLeod Avenue.

Baird said the city will monitor the traffic situation once the development is built.

McConaghy said he wasn't too concerned with traffic.

Since the development is downtown, he anticipates many residents might not even need to use vehicles to go to and from work. Underground parking is proposed for the apartment complex.

Committee member Jim McElman said there may be ways to tinker with angled parking to try to increase the number of available spaces.

Coun. Bruce Grandy signalled he may want a comprehensive parking plan from city staff when the project comes to the council table for discussion.

In other projects approved by the committee, Canadian Tire, located in the Smythe Street plaza, is planning an addition and redesign.

The company wants to add 1,539 square metres onto its existing building.

It will also redesign the structure to reflect newer store designs. Wider aisles and a better internal layout will be part of the changes.

Terrain Group Inc. of Dartmouth, N.S., is the planner for the redevelopment.

While there are limits to the expansion potential at the mall -- while maintaining parking ratios -- the strip-mall owners have told the city that an expansion of the Winners store won't be going ahead.
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Old Posted Jun 23, 2007, 3:30 PM
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And away we go....as someone who has to use this bridge to get to work, I'm thrilled. :p

Hurry up and wait; Regent repairs begin Monday
Published Saturday June 23rd, 2007
Appeared on page A1

Circle Monday on your calendar because it's the beginning of four weeks of traffic misery.

New Brunswick's Department of Transportation is repairing and resurfacing the bridge deck of the Regent Street overpass. It's not a big-ticket project at $110,000 but the nature of Regent Street could turn the routine job into a traffic nightmare.

Department of Transportation District 5 engineer Norman Clouston said there's no question there will be traffic delays and snarls.

About 18,000 vehicles per day travel from Fredericton Junction, Nasonworth, Beaverdam, Charters Settlement and New Maryland into Fredericton via Regent Street.

The already congested two-lane, spaghetti-strip Highway 101 will be narrowed to two lanes, one in and one out of Fredericton.

Department of Transportation crews will begin working on the two inside lanes first, complete those repairs and then do the two outside lanes, Clouston told the city's transportation committee at a briefing Thursday.

On Monday, work will be delayed until 9 a.m. to provide a bit of adjustment for local drivers, but Tuesday morning, work crews will be on the job from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., working 12 hour days Monday to Friday and eight hours Saturday starting between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Southbound traffic will have to squeeze into a single lane near the Prospect Street Irving service station. Northbound traffic will be diverted into a single lane 140 metres back from the Regent Mall main entrance.

Two police officers will be assigned with traffic detail weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Apart from traffic direction, they'll be available to try to guide emergency vehicles through the construction area at the worst moments of traffic congestion.

If motorists can flex their work hours, carpool, alter their travel times or limit the number of trips they, it will help, Clouston said.

"Allow more time to get to where you're going. Be prepared," Clouston said.

Coun. David Kelly asked why police won't be assigned Saturdays -- a busy shopping day. Tourist traffic is also picking up, he said.

Clouston said the traffic situation will be monitored and the department will be flexible if it spots problems.
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Residents concerned about Union Street development
For The Daily Gleaner
Published Saturday June 23rd, 2007
Appeared on page A8

Some northside residents are worried a plan to develop Union Street will lead to more traffic on the busy thoroughfare.

The Union Street secondary plan steering committee unveiled the plan in a public meeting at the Ducks Unlimited Canada building.

More than 40 residents attended the session, where maps of the plan were handed out.

At the back of the map was a space for comments, which they could forward to the city's development services department.

The map shows a suggestion of six transition areas covering the areas from the Westmorland Street Bridge to the Nashwaak River.

* Transition area 1 is bordered by St. Mary's Street, Union Street up to Crerar Court. It is currently a commercial area. The proposal is to make it a mixed development area to include a residential component.

* Transition area 2 covers Gibson Street. It is currently designated as a commercial area. The proposal is to reduce its commercial component, with the upper portion of Gibson Street changed to a residential designation.

* Transition area 3 is the area fronting all residential areas on Station Road. It is currently classified as low density area with single detached lots. The proposal is to designate it as a mixed residential development with apartments, low density single detached dwellings and townhouses.

* Transition area 4 is bordered by Union Street, Cliffe Street, Devonshire Drive and St. Mary's Street. It is currently a mixed-use and commercial area. The plan is to incorporate an additional residential component.

* Transition area 5 covers York Arena Street. It is currently a designated park and the proposal is to make it into a residential area.

* Transition area 6 is the area adjacent to Carleton Park and the former Craig's Electric building site. It is currently an open space and the proposal is to designate it as a park.

Jennifer Voss, city planner, said the plan is an update of the existing secondary plan, which was crafted in 1994.

"We hope to improve the aesthetics of the area by incorporating some landscape provisions into the plan, and change some of the land uses, maybe scaling back some of the commercial destinations to reflect more residential community, and to put the policies in place that will guide appropriate future development in the area," she said.

Some residents who attended the meeting said they were worried about the heavy traffic that could result from the changes while others liked the plan.

"I think that maybe this is the first step in a good start," said Lynn Coy, a Byng Street resident.

Union Street resident Bill Depow said he hopes the changes make a difference.

"Right at this time, it's very conceptual, and it's just the start of coming to preparing a final plan and they've been delayed tremendously here in getting this underway," he said.

"And I hope that the plan is going to be something that is going to improve the Union Street area and the Devon area."

Darlene Tompkins of Union Street said traffic is her biggest concern.

"Residential people are going to be moving off Union Street and what's going to happen to Union Street?" she said.

"We just don't want it to turn into what happened to Main Street."

St. Mary's Street resident Kevin Corbett said he's looking forward to seeing what happens.

"To people who don't have the choice to say what they want, at least somebody is making some suggestions to what could be," he said.

"With that I feel quite happy. There are certainly things I never thought of, I can't wait to see what comes out in the next round."

Union Street resident Sam Aird agreed.

"It's been good to see the plans. Some of it look good. The questions stemmed because I think the traffic is very high on Union Street, and there's a lot of development or possibly residential development happening. And I think the traffic needs to be addressed first," he said.

Alex Forbes, assistant director of the city's development services department, said the city will host three more public meetings on the plan with the next one in the fall.

He said the committee might be able to submit the plan to city council for review by December 2007.

"We'll continue to refine the plan until we think the majority of the people are in support of the plan," said Forbes.

"We're listening to them tonight and hopefully with some of those concerns that they have, we can come up with some solutions."
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Old Posted Jun 25, 2007, 12:29 PM
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[Can they hurry up and finish that road over to Kimble Dr? Hopefully by 4:30 today so I don't have to go through the hell that is Regent St construction?]

University says it's doing its research
Published Monday June 25th, 2007
Appeared on page A1

Recent development in the University of New Brunswick's woodlot has officials at UNB examining new development ideas that will minimize the destruction of the ecological structure and function of the landscape.

"UNB faces a great opportunity to create a national model for alternative forms of development as new projects move forward in the woodlot," said Shawn Dalton, director of UNB's environment and sustainable development research centre.

"Recognizing that neighbourhoods might possibly be built in the woodlot where people will be living for years to come in a changing climate raises some questions," Dalton said recently at UNB's associated alumnae's annual general meeting.

"UNB will have to think about what those neighbourhoods might look like and question how they will withstand more extreme weather events in the future," she said.

"I don't think we've thought through carefully in New Brunswick what these new communities might look like."

She said as the climate changes and flood threats increase, it's possible that more Frederictonians will move to higher ground 50 to 100 years from now.

"New uphill properties might be quite attractive in the coming decades and the woodlot might be ideal for retirement communities as more New Brunswickers reach their later years," she said.

A number of alternative methods for low-impact development were outlined in her presentation, including preservation techniques for mature trees and run-off solutions,

For the existing land that will be developed over time, Dalton said green building designs need to be examined.

"Increasing natural lighting, installing rooftop gardens and special water vents to collect rain water for re-use and using recycled or local building materials for construction are all alternative building possibilities," she said.

According to Dalton, it would cost five per cent more to build a green building.

"But because green building principles save you so much in energy costs over the first several years, it pays itself back very quickly."

Michael Baldwin, UNB's manager of real estate and planning, said the university is working with a Halifax company to develop design principles to apply to the land between the Home Depot and the future home of the municipal sports and leisure complex.

"We are hoping to have a drafted set of guidelines up for review by mid to late July," Baldwin said.

"It's still early but we're hoping to have a balanced set of design principles that can help guide the

university when it moves forward to the next step of development in the woodlot."

Baldwin said there are a lot of question marks from the university's point of view and from a market point of view as to what can go in the woodlot in the future.

"The reason we want a balanced set of principles is to allow us to work within the reality of the market," he said.

"Retirement-type communities could go in there, but there could be many other options as well.

"We want to see things done to a new standard and hopefully UNB can raise the bar as the market changes over time."
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Projects shift out of neutral
Published Tuesday June 26th, 2007
Appeared on page A1

The Marysville bypass is finally getting some of the $400 million in federal-provincial highway funding announced last spring.

The long-awaited bypass was one of six federal-provincial highway projects announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Fredericton on Monday.

"Together, these improvements to New Brunswick's transportation infrastructure will smooth traffic flow, increase the efficient movement of goods and people and stimulate jobs and opportunities in the road construction sector," said Harper.

Premier Shawn Graham said working out the final details of the highway- funding deal was one of the top priorities of his Liberal government when it came to power last fall.

"It is all about staying connected to markets, to essential services, to communities and to each other," he said.

"We are committed to a comprehensive provincial highway system with safe and reliable connections to our province's ports, airports, rail lines and manufacturing and production facilities.''

The Marysville bypass is a 36-kilometre highway along the east side of the Nashwaak River.

Phase 1 includes 15 kilometres of grading on Route 8, paving at the Route 8 and Bridge Street intersection and construction of one bridge and two overpasses.

Coun. Walter Brown said Monday's announcement proves the Marysville bypass is real.

"The money is now there," he said. "This a great day."

The completion of the bypass will make Marysville a beautiful bedroom community because it will take truck traffic out of the neighbourhood, said Brown.

The federal money was also bumped up slightly to $207 million from the original $200 million. It must be matched by provincial funds. The $414 million in total funding is spread over 10 years.

Whether the Marysville bypass was eligible for funding under the original highway deal depended on whom you asked Monday.

In the dying days of the Tory government in the fall of 2006, a memorandum of understanding was signed on highway funding which set the priority for that funding on so-called core highways. Route 8 is designated a feeder highway, not a core highway.

"This agreement will see important work done on our national highway system, both core and feeder routes," said Graham. "We were able to establish a precedent today by convincing the government of Canada that our feeder routes were important.

"It means that all of New Brunswick will be able to benefit under the infrastructure investment."

But Opposition transportation critic Paul Robichaud said routes 8, 11 and 17 were all added to the national highway system in March 2005.

He also said it was the former Tory government that first negotiated the $400-million deal.

"What we have today is the details of that agreement," said Robichaud.

Fredericton Liberal MP Andy Scott said that while he is pleased with the funding, he hopes it doesn't come at the expense of other projects.

"As we learned last year, announcements don't count for much," he said. "It is identifying the funding source that is critically important.

"I would like to see some clarity from the Conservatives as to where the federal money is precisely coming from."

Scott also claimed credit for the extra $14 million. That represented the $7 million the former federal Liberal government allocated to the Marysville bypass in May 2004, he said.

The Fredericton MP backed Robichaud's position regarding the bypass being part of the national highway system.

"We worked successfully at the federal level to get it added to the national highway system in September 2005 so it was eligible for federal funding," said Scott.

The highway deal will also provide funding for the 10-kilometre Welsford bypass on Route 7 between Fredericton and Saint John.

Phase 1 of that project includes the construction of a viaduct, clearing of the highway corridor and five kilometres of grading.

Other highway initiatives include work on the One Mile House interchange near Saint John, 11.5 kilometres of new four-lane highway from Pennfield to Lepreau, 2.2 kilometres of highway to complete a 24-kilometre Route 1 bypass from Waweig River to Murray Road in southwestern New Brunswick and 7.9 kilometres of highway on Route 11 from Tracadie-Sheila to the Six Roads bypass.

Details of how much work will be done this year weren't available. But the province issued a statement saying contracts for the work on the Marysville bypass, Route 1 and Route 11 would be awarded this year.

Lloyd Giggie, executive director of the Roadbuilders Association of New Brunswick, welcomed the highway funding announcement.

"It is something we have been waiting for," he said. "It sounds now like there is going to be some money spent."

Giggie said the timing is good because the Liberals cut the provincial highway construction budget by 25 per cent this year.

"Our people are under utilized right now," he said.

About 7,000 people work in the provincial road-construction industry. said Giggie.
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England-N.B. direct flight announced for Fredericton Airport
Last Updated: Friday, June 29, 2007 | 3:54 PM AT
CBC News

Fredericton Airport says it will offer direct flights from New Brunswick to England, in an effort to bring more British tourists to the province.

Beginning in May 2008, a Fredericton-to-Gatwick service will fly on Tuesdays, and direct return flights from London will go Wednesdays, the airport said Friday. The flights will be managed by Canadian Affair, the U.K.'s largest tour operator, and will be operated by Air Transat, starting as low as $400 round trip.

Airport authority CEO David Innes said the deal has been in the works for about three years.

"I think the real economic benefit is getting people to come into New Brunswick … but certainly the side benefit of this service is to have the U.K. more accessible for New Brunswickers," Innes said Friday.

Fredericton travel agent Janet Tomkins said that's going to increase her business at Maritime Travel. She said not only do many of her customers fly to London to start European trips, but the discount service will also get a lot more people flying to the U.K.

"Normally if you're leaving from Fredericton, if you're doing it, say, July, from here to London, you're probably looking at $1,000 return with tax, so this is like half the price for them."

While travel agents like the idea of more New Brunswickers travelling to Britain, Anthony Knight of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to an increase in tourists coming here.

"We need to expand our capabilities and opportunities to attract new tourism dollars from outside the region and outside the U.S. as well. I mean, we rely heavily on the U.S. market and I think we need to diversify our tourism dollars, and this is a great way to do that."

To help attract more British travellers, the provincial government plans to double its tourism marketing spending in the U.K. to $500,000 a year.

The flights will run until the end of October 2008.
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2007, 5:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kirjtc2 View Post
Although the apartment building is five-storeys high, Skinner told planning advisory committee members that the fifth floor is the roof level, so the building won't look as high.
Sounds like every other apartment building in the city, with the exception of the townhouses in front of it.

And I love the brilliance of UNB concerning the woodlot. [/sarcasm]

I've noticed both the road connecting Knowledge Park Dr to Kimble Dr and the NE offramp on the Westmorland Bridge being worked on.

As far as apartment buildings go, I actually like how the new one on Cliffe St turned out (I'll try to get a picture on of these times), though it sticks out like a sore thumb now until more stuff gets built around there.
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FREX manager says future looks good
By Jeremy Dickson
Published Monday July 9th, 2007
Appeared on page A4

The future of the Fredericton Exhibition (FREX) and its property remains strong, says FREX general manager Brent Briggs.

That's despite a longer than expected review procedure by the FREX board's long-term planning committee, he said.

"It's going to be the end of the year before the long-term plan is completed," Briggs said.

"It's a slow process, but the committee is very upbeat right now.

"We're going to look at every possibility for the FREX grounds during our review."

This year will mark the 180th year of FREX and Briggs said the exhibition won't be going away any time soon.

"The city's municipal long-term plan to put residential housing on the property isn't on the radar screen right now because the FREX, even after all this time, is still a very popular attraction in the city," Briggs said.

The City of Fredericton still owns the exhibition's land, but FREX owns and operates the buildings on the property.

Briggs said FREX's lease with the city states the exhibition may remain on the grounds as long as it continues to be held every year and remains successful.

"The FREX was very successful the last two years and it still attracts approximately 40,000 people every year, so it's going to be here for a long time," he said.

Coun. Stephen Kelly, who is also a former council representative on the FREX board, said the city's plan for housing on the property has become a moot point because FREX has been so successful.

"The City of Fredericton wishes the FREX well," Kelly said, "and I don't think there's anybody who wants the FREX to do anything but live up to its potential, which it's done for so many years."

Despite FREX's prosperity, Briggs said his planning committee needs more time to map out the future of the grounds, including plans for the Coliseum and the racetrack.

"We need to look ahead at other business aspects," he said.

"The city just returned our lease for the Coliseum in May and although we haven't had a lot of time to look at its long-term use, we do know there will be no ice going in there this fall. It's primary use right now is for the FREX."

Briggs said the racetrack has been doing well and will continue to prosper at least until 2009 with the help of government subsidies.

"We really believe that harness racing is on the upswing again, but we also want our racetrack to be an entertainment centre."

Briggs said the FREX board has asked the provincial government to include harness racing in its gaming policy, which should be released later this summer or fall.

"The gaming policy is a long-term plan, but we still need government authorization," Briggs said.

Briggs said the buildings are looking good and new improvements will be made this year.

"We will be improving the parking lot starting today," he said.

"We are finally going to pave a significant portion of the Exhibition Grounds, especially trouble areas around Tim Hortons and William's Seafood."

He said those areas are guaranteed to be fixed and there is a possibility the paving will extend back to the Coliseum and Capital Exhibit


"We also plan to complete upgrades to the roof of the Coliseum

which was half completed in 2005," he said.

"And we will upgrade our grandstand and replace the roofs on our two agricultural buildings."

Briggs said he's satisfied with how the city has dealt with FREX


"I feel like our relationship with the city has improved a lot and I know they will keep an open mind with the results from our review

concerning future possibilities for the grounds."
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