Jamie Snook, mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, said the town is really happy to move forward on this project.
The Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay got approval from the Department of Municipal affairs recently to go ahead with a request for proposal (RFP) for the Labrador Wellness Centre.
“This was really good news, we were glad the minister responded so quickly in the new year,” said Jamie Snook, mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay. “We want to really get this RFP document out and we’re hopeful this summer will see some site work done and put us in a position where construction would start in the 2018 summer season.”
Snook said he’s sure with the size of this project there will be good competition out there in the industry to respond to this as well. The Wellness Centre has a price tag of $20 million in phase 1 and the construction is estimated to provide 100 jobs in the community and 25-40 jobs beyond that.
Snook said at the end of the day, they want to make sure it’s the building the residents want.
“We had over 1,000 residents involved in the consultation process and through that, we determined what had to be in the building and then decide what we can do without and make the building a size we can actually afford,” he told TC. “So we’ve done a lot of work in that regard, the trick now will be for us to develop a RFP that really prioritizes what’s important for the town and makes sure when this going goes out the proposals meets the needs of residents of the town.”
The response they received from residents in the consultation process was indicative of how badly the Wellness Centre is needed, Snook said, and that level of engagement helped speed it along with all levels of government.
The Wellness Centre was an election issue and Snook said it was a priority for council from day 1.
“It has been a collaborative project between the residents and all levels of government,” he said. “There’s been a lot of hoops we’ve had to go through and its going as quick as it possibly can. We’ve been looking for ways to speed this up and every time we go back and look we are moving as fast as we can.”
The next milestone is the provincial budget, he said, and it’s councils expectation this will be in there.