Grand Lake chosen as site for new correctional facility

by | Jul 31, 2023

Province turns down offers from Nackawic-Millville, Woodstock

Grand Lake has been chosen as the new site for the province’s next correctional facility. In a press release on Monday, July 31, the government said nine communities expressed interest, and five submitted applications to be the site.

The site chosen is located on Industrial Park Road in Minto. The government news release said the location “scored higher than the other applicants based on the criteria provided.”

The release noted the property, owned by the province, exceeds the minimum 8.8 hectares (22 acres) required and has a treed buffer to help isolate the facility from other properties. Few residential properties are in the immediate surrounding area, and water and septic services are available. It is also less than the stipulated 60-minute maximum travel time to Fredericton, has direct access to a main road, and has no wetland or adverse soil conditions.

“We were impressed by the various proposals, and we are excited to move forward,” Public Safety Minister Kris Austin said. “The expressions of interest and the quality of the applications confirm our belief this is an excellent opportunity for a community.”

A request for proposal for the facility’s design has been filed, and an announcement will be made when a plan has been chosen. The total project cost is expected to be about $42 million.

“Once a design has been finalized, we will be in a position to discuss an opening date for this much-needed facility,” Austin said.

While the new jail location isn’t currently in Austin’s riding, when the new electoral boundaries come into effect during the next election, it will be.

Earlier this year, the municipalities of Woodstock and Nackawic-Millville expressed interest in hosting the province’s new jail.

In letters to the Justice and Public Safety Minister, the communities pointed to locations and their proximity to other correctional facilities.

Woodstock Mayor Trina Jones said Woodstock checked most boxes needed to house the correction facility. She expressed confidence the town could locate the 25 acres of land with easy access to the Trans Canada Highway required to accommodate the jail.

Nackawic-Millville Rural Community Council also believed they were an ideal location to house a new regional corrections facility.

Nackawic-Millville’s council unanimously approved the formal submission of an expression of interest to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure to become the new facility’s location.

Mayor Tim Fox said Nackawic-Millville’s proposal included two potential sites for the correctional facility that would meet the criterion set by the department.

PHOTO: Inside the Southeast Regional Correctional Facility in Shediac. (GNB photo)

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