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County of Kings move to new municipal complex in Coldbrook nearly completed

Kings County Mayor Peter Muttart, municipal administration and most other staff members have moved into the new municipal complex in Coldbrook.
Kings County Mayor Peter Muttart, municipal administration and most other staff members have moved into the new municipal complex in Coldbrook. - Kirk Starratt

June 3 set as target date to complete the relocation

COLDBROOK, N.S. —

It was a project more than a decade in the making but the Municipality of the County of Kings is moving into its new home in Coldbrook.

Kings County Mayor Peter Muttart said in a May 28 interview that the move into the new complex, located on Coldbrook Village Park Drive, is virtually completed.

The move was staged incrementally by department over approximately two weeks and, as of May 28, only the finance department remained in the Kentville facility to receive property tax and other payments. Muttart said the target to complete the move was set for June 3 but they should be able to beat that by a couple of days.

Over the years, the project was delayed on a number of occasions for various reasons. Muttart said he’s sure that the Province of Nova Scotia would be “delighted” to have them leave their building. The former municipal complex in Kentville was sold to the province for use by the Department of Justice a few years ago.

Initially, the municipality gave indication that it would be moving out in 2016 but had to extend its lease for three more years while the process to establish the new complex unfolded.

“I’m sure the Town of Kentville will be pleased to have all the new activity that the justice centre will bring,” Muttart said.

Substantial renovations are planned and the Department of Justice will be moving staff from Exhibition Street down to the justice centre. The Town of Kentville will now receive full property tax payments for the building, which wasn’t the case when it was partially occupied by the municipality.

Muttart said it’s likely that the increased number of Department of Justice employees occupying the Kentville centre would make up for the municipal employees being relocated to Coldbrook, so any negative impact on other town businesses would be mitigated. Muttart said municipal staff would likely be very pleased to be working in new quarters built for the purpose.

The new complex in Coldbrook has been substantially completed for a couple of weeks but there is still some work to be done in terms of finishing touches. Muttart said the contractors would be making ongoing visits to finish the council chambers, reception area and a few other aspects of the facility.

“The new location presents its own challenges in the absence of sidewalks and the addition of probably 120 cars a day or so going up and down the road and intersecting with Highway 1 but those are challenges that we’ll have to be looking at in the near future,” Muttart said.

It’s likely that an official opening for the new complex won’t be held until sometime in September. However, members of the public will have an opportunity to see some of the interior before then, as the July monthly council meeting and all others for then on will be held in the new chambers.

Plans for a new engineering and public works garage – to be built in a separate location - have yet to be finalized but $1.8 million in funding is included in the current year’s budget.

LONG ROAD TO COMPLETION

Discussions and various plans for a new municipal complex unfolded over approximately 10 years and three council terms.

In 2015, council cancelled the first request for proposals due to the bids being significantly over budget.

In January 2017, council cancelled a request for proposals for a second time by voting against awarding the contract to Roscoe Construction for the total price of $5,699,000 plus HST. This price would have included the public works garage.

In June 2017, following an extensive public consultation process, council voted to locate the complex at the Coldbrook property, which is approximately six acres in size.

In January 2018, council voted to award the construction contract for the new complex to Roscoe Construction of Cambridge for the total price of $5,310,000 plus HST. Council also approved a contingency fund of 7.5 per cent of the contract value for potential change orders.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

Correction: Please note that an earlier version of this story said council meetings will take place in the new location as of June. This has been changed to indicate that council meetings will be held in the new complex starting in July. 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The new municipal complex features geothermal heating and air exchange.
  • It features LED lights that are motion activated.
  • There are dividers in the council chambers so the space can be used for other public gatherings.
  • The new complex includes a hub for business incubation, including two offices and open space.
  • There are breakout rooms allowing for private meetings between developers and development officers, for example.

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