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Loch Lomond Villa's planned expansion had been on hold pending a review to save money. ((Google Streetview))

The New Brunswick government has given a Saint John nursing home approval to expand.

Loch Lomond Villa is planning a new 100-bed facility across the street from its current location on Loch Lomond Road.

The $75 million project — announced by the former Liberal government — had been put on hold, pending a cost-cutting review by the Alward government.

Sue Stultz, the minister of social development, said $250,000 has been cut.

She said the savings are in things such as construction and furnishings and won't affect resident care.

"Our No. 1 priority in government is to make sure that the seniors are cared for in a safe environment," she said.

Stultz said two more expansion phases will also proceed over the next five years.

Won't affect size, level of care

Cindy Donovan, the CEO of the villa, said she got the news Thursday. She said the cost-cutting exercise had been thorough.  

"The review looked at all sorts of things in regard to construction, in regards to standards and practices and looking at what could be tailored down in terms of cost," she said.

"I've not had that meeting with government yet to know exactly what changes will be taking place. We are being guaranteed that the footprint will not be changing and it won't affect care in anyway whatsoever."

Donovan expects the first phase of the project to resume within a couple of weeks. She said residents would be moved to the new facility by the summer of 2012.

Work will then begin on adding 154 new beds to the villa. Donovan said the entire expansion should be complete by 2016.