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CBRM to hold public hearing on sale of land to allow for New Waterford hub development

Rendering of planned New Waterford community health centre and long-term care home, which will be a community hub also including Breton Education Centre.
Rendering of planned New Waterford community health centre and long-term care home, which will be a community hub also including Breton Education Centre. - Contributed
NEW WATERFORD, N.S. —

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality will hold a public hearing next week over the proposed sale of land to the province for one dollar, to allow for the planned construction of a community hub.

The lands — which include the lot on which Breton Education Centre stands, recreation facilities and Lowell Cormier Avenue — is estimated to be valued at $7.56 million. In exchange for selling the land for a dollar, the municipality would have the recreational facilities, including an artificial turf field, relocated.

The hub project is to include a new long-term care facility, a new Breton Education Centre and a community health centre.

The community hub is one component of the larger CBRM health-care redevelopment project intended to modernize health-care facilities, that will also include the loss of emergency departments in New Waterford and North Sydney.

The hub will have a new community health centre, a 60-bed long-term care home and a new school to replace Breton Education Centre.

Construction is expected to begin next spring.

The province announced earlier this fall it will cost $4.5 million to relocate several New Waterford sports fields to make way for the hub. The project includes the artificial turf soccer field, tennis courts and three outbuildings — washrooms and storage — moving to MacKinnon Field to make way for the construction of the new complex. The grass soccer field at MacKinnon Field will be moved to nearby Colliery Lands Park, adjacent to Heelan Street.

Tammy Martin, NDP MLA for Cape Breton Centre, which includes New Waterford, said she welcomes the public hearing, calling it the first opportunity for residents of the community to have input into the hub process.

“This is the first time that the public will have (the opportunity) to engage in anything that’s talking about the new hub in New Waterford,” she said. “Whether it’s sold for a dollar, I think the people of Cape Breton are just glad that we’re getting the facilities that we need.”

The hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m. at CBRM council chambers at the civic centre in Sydney.

RELATED: Province announces details of North Sydney, New Waterford health redevelopments

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