New Access Nova Scotia building to provide efficiency and cost savings, MLA says

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The Access Nova Scotia building on Walker Street no longer has the space that is required for parking and driver testing, says local MLA Lenore Zann. FILE PHOTO

TRURO - Relocating several government offices into one Access Nova Scotia building will provide both efficiency and cost savings, Truro Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann says.

"They need to grow, they want to be able to put all three together," Zann said, of the pending relocation of the Land Registry, Department of Motor Vehicle and Landlord and Tenancy offices from downtown Truro to a site in Truro Heights.

"It will be better for the employees, it will be better for the public, for the taxpayers to have everything all under one new roof," she said.

Not everyone agrees, however, as Truro Mayor Bill Mills and Chamber of Commerce president Don Hay have both spoken out against the move, saying it takes more services away from the downtown core.

But with $25,000 in savings per year anticipated in rental costs by bringing the three offices under one roof, Zann sees the move as being financially responsible while also meeting the growing needs of the services involved.

The existing landlord and others in the downtown area were invited to bid on the new multi-faceted building, Zann said, but the winning tender was "the best one."

That went to Parson's Investments Ltd., which is to construct a 6,790 square foot building that the province will lease beginning in December 2013 for $26.35 per square foot.

Both leases have been extended to expire next November so there will be no penalties involved.

"They own that land out there and they offered to build a beautiful big new building," Zann said, of Parson's Investments.

"There's more space for parking, there's more space for the driver testing, which is important of course for the DMV, and apparently the majority of the clients that come to both places actually have cars."

The land registry office is currently located on the Esplanade, while the existing Access Nova Scotia building is one Walker Street.

The Walker Street building was constructed about seven years ago to meet the needs for Access Nova Scotia services, but Zann said that is no longer the case and more space is required, especially for driver testing and parking.

The new building will be about four kilometres away.

Hay has also expressed concerns that the new building will be harder to access for people who don't drive.

To that end, Zann said two transportation services in the area should help ease that burden.

For people with disabilities, she said, the Disabled Consumers Society of Colchester operates ABLE Transit, which charges $1.75 each way from downtown Truro to the new location.

As well, she said, Colchester Cooperative Transportation Ltd., now operates a bus service in the Truro area and charges $4 to travel from downtown to the new site, $6 for up to 10 kilometres and $8 for up to 15 kilometres.

Updated version.




Organizations: Land Registry, Department of Motor Vehicle and Landlord, Truro Mayor Bill Mills and Chamber of Commerce Access Nova Scotia Investments Disabled Consumers Society of Colchester Colchester Cooperative Transportation

Geographic location: Truro, Walker Street

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Recent comments

  • Charles
    November 24, 2012 - 08:12

    LOL For the first time ever I find myself in agreement with the NDP government. It's truly sad to listen to Mills and the chamber beat the drum for downtown truro. Parking is impossible, traffic in and out of the current spot is nothing less than a joke. I just have to ask. What makes Mills or the chamber feel they are so entitled to any consideration in this matter at all. If either had been on the ball they would have know what the rest of us have known for years. It's a hard to access spot. They could/should have been working on offering a development in the vacant lot behind the TPD. You loose

  • Al
    November 23, 2012 - 16:46

    These arguments are starting to sound familiar and a bit like Halifax. When are we going to realize that growth outside Truro helps all of us. We are no longer the old Truro and I would like to see some realization by the town's old guard that what is good for Bible Hill, Truro Heights, Valley and other surrounding areas will make us all strong and attractive. Holding development in a bear hug in the downtown is not the answer. Development across the board is. If we have to drive to get to some of our services it means we are growing.

  • R.W.Reid
    November 23, 2012 - 16:03

    Sounds to me like it's time for a new gov. how are all these projects going to be paid for, this gov. does not seem to care about the people as long they appear to look good with all these ideas. In reality are we not taxed too much as it is. sure not going to balance the buget with this kind of wasteful spending and I think it's time the people of this province looked at reality. Can you afford more taxes? Well thats what is coming. Maybe it's time gov. made do with what they have just like we do.and how foolish it is for gov. to rent ,when they could build cheaper, we're going through that with the school system from former gov. Nova Scotia it's time to wake up or put up the choice is ours.

  • Gordon Mcdonald
    November 23, 2012 - 10:00

    Let me see if i get this right: 3 government offices are going to move into 1 place. That place is going to be constructed then leased with our tax dollars for $180,000 per month? That's over $2 million a year. Chances are it is a min 10 year lease which is $20 million. You could build and own a building bigger than that for a whole lot less. Yes, own not leased with our tax dollars for the next 10,20 30 years. And Ms. Zann is proudly saying this is going to save $25,000 a year like that is a big deal in comparison to how much is going to be wasted or the number of tax payers that will be inconvenienced.

  • joe
    November 23, 2012 - 08:32

    why did they build there in the first place,the parking lot never was big enough to support all the cars and trucks,thats the government for you ALWAYS putting the cart before the horse

  • NoFool
    November 23, 2012 - 07:20

    It is my understanding the the landlord at the current location has indeed purchased some of the derelict surrounding buildings with the intention of expanding the current location if required. What about some of the empty buildings in downtown Truro- MP Crowells, Walkers etc....Why move this valuable service way out to Truro Heights. Is there a public transportation system covering the outside core of downtown...??? NOPE!!! A cost saving of $25,000 is simply not enough when one considers the additional cost to the users of these services. The TBH MLA has her head in the clouds. Don't worry be happy just doesn't cover it anymore. Is the experiment called NDP government over yet?????? Wake me up when it is.

    • beulah
      November 23, 2012 - 15:52

      The government seems to like spending our tax dollars on new buidings when im sure that some of the ones that are closed up could be used. When are they going to stop wasting money ? This government has done nothing to help people at all. Just busy building new stuff.

  • Cindie Smith
    November 23, 2012 - 06:49

    I appreciate the efforts of the provincial government to reduce overall costs in providing services from an Access Nova Scotia location in Truro Heights. However my concern is that the cost will be downloaded to individuals, many of whom will find it difficult to bear an $8 round trip charge from tdowntown Truro. Perhaps bus or taxi vouchers could be provided for those who are not able to provide their own transportation.

  • dave
    November 23, 2012 - 06:12

    is this the same lenore who said that she would balance the budget without having to raise taxes or cutting services? so why should we believe anything she says?

  • Excess Nova Scotia
    November 23, 2012 - 06:08

    There is no question that the location of the current building is less than ideal and it has never been ideal. Having said that, I'm not so sure that this move is in the public's best interest. The solution as of late has been to move all of our services out of the downtown core to lower Truro. As it stands now, we have an unopened Hospital, Civic Centre, and will soon have a new Access Nova Scotia site all within a short drive of each other. While this may seem convenient to some, the reality is that it will be a nightmare for others. This might translate into a small cost savings for the government but will transfer this cost burden onto the people who rely on these services, many of whom are already low-income earners. Moreover, I can't help but worry about the traffic nightmare that will come from our desire to relocate our public services to one area that simply does not have the right infrastructure to deal with it. The traffic is already crazy here and none of these things are even open. I believe that a much easier solution would have been to make the entrance on Walker St a right turn only exit much like what they did for GoodLife fitness. If more parking space was needed, perhaps it could have been purchased from Blaikies who owns the adjoining lots. As for cost savings, I don't know how our MLA can preach cost savings when she has the highest constituency expenses in the province year to date (which amount to more than the savings from this move) and the year isn't even over yet. Many of these expenses are legitimate but many of them seem to be questionable like the purchase of tickets to shows at the Marigold and trips to Ottawa to "recruit" artists to come to Truro.

    • Dawn
      November 23, 2012 - 09:10

      Why are our government offices renting all over everywhere? It seems like they rent in one spot until everything is set up for their needs and then they leave there to move to another spot which has to have all new furniture, etc. because you couldn't possibly reuse furniture that was used at the old spot. The cost of buying all new everything every few years, plus the cost of renting FOREVER has got to add up to a small fortune. Then of course if the government office decides to change their name they have to throw out all old binders, stationery, signage, etc. because everything has to change -- couldn't just use up the old stock before starting on the new (which I think most non-government businesses would do) -- again money, money, money for no particular reason. Seems to be no end to spending and waste!