Nova Scotia

Access Nova Scotia relocation draws ire in Truro

Some people in Truro are questioning the provincial government's logic and timing after it decided to move the Access Nova Scotia offices from downtown, to the outskirts of town.

Some people in Truro are questioning the provincial government's logic and timing after it decided to move the Access Nova Scotia offices from downtown, to the outskirts of town.

The government said the new location will be more convenient and save taxpayers money.

The future site of the Access Nova Scotia building will sit up the hill from downtown Truro in a 631 square metre facility in Truro Heights.

The building will also house provincial land registry offices.

The original Access Nova Scotia building was built to the centre's specifications just seven years ago leading some to question why it's moving now.

"It's centered downtown, so it's good. Just leave it here. It seems to be a needless expenditure," said June Russell.

"It's just not a good thing, something else to leave downtown where it's kind of good to bring people into downtown. We need more people in our downtown," said Don Hay president of the Truro and District Chamber of Commerce.

Annex Investments, the original building's landlords, bid to keep the centre downtown.

It was prepared to buy the property on Robie Street, which is convenient for shoppers because it's across the street from one of the town's main malls.

Annex Investments said the price of the land and property taxes meant it didn't have the lowest bid. The company also offered to expand the current building by adding 185 square metres and more than 60 parking spaces.

But company officials said they got the feeling early on that the government just wasn't interested in the location.

"We'd have been willing to look at downtown. We didn't exclude it. The reach for the tender certainly included downtown," said Municipal Affairs Minister John MacDonell.

The government says the move will save taxpayers by bringing the rent down $25,000 dollars a year to just under $180,000.

"This is the appropriate thing for the government to do. We campaigned on a better deal for Nova Scotians we can put these service together, deliver them cheaper. I think that's what Nova Scotians would like us to do," said MacDonell.

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