Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
September 9, 2008

Town of Grand Falls-Windsor to Evaluate Riverfront Development

The Provincial Government is contributing $25,000 to the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor to conduct a study to evaluate the feasibility of a riverfront development project. The study will include potential options for commercial and residential development along the Exploits River and downtown business area.

"The Provincial Government is pleased to support the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor explore new and innovative ideas to grow their economies and expand local infrastructure," said the Honourable Trevor Taylor, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. "The town recognizes the potential associated with enhancing its riverfront area and making it a focal point for residential, commercial, and cultural projects which will lead to continued economic activity."

A well-experienced consulting team will be engaged to address the opportunities associated with developing the riverfront area and connecting it to the downtown core. In addition to identifying the associated opportunities, the study will outline how best to proceed with integrating existing components of the riverfront into an overall concept that builds-upon and links the downtown.

"The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor is very excited about this project and appreciates the partnership and support of the Provincial Government," said Rex Barnes, Mayor, Grand Falls-Windsor. "We want to ensure our citizens that the environmental integrity of the Exploits River and sensitive areas will be foremost as this project progresses. It will give us the blueprint to create a long-term plan of development that will not only enhance this beautiful area of our town, but maximize its potential for the benefit of citizens for years to come."

Throughout North America, communities adjacent to rivers similar to the Exploits River have developed infrastructure and made their riverfronts the focal point of the community. Following this trend, the community has cleaned-up riverbanks, added walking trails, and developed a boat launch, along with a fully-serviced recreational vehicle park in recent years.

"The Exploits River holds significant opportunities for Grand Falls-Windsor from a recreational, business, and tourism perspective," said Susan Sullivan, MHA, Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans. "This study marks an important step in developing these opportunities and growing the town�s downtown core."

Ray Hunter, MHA for Grand Falls-Windsor-Green Bay South, is also supportive of the initiative.

"The Exploits River attracts thousands of visitors from across the province and Canada every year," said Mr. Hunter. "This initiative builds upon that popularity and provides the area with the necessary infrastructure to ensure that is enjoyed and economic potential fully maximized."

Funding was provided through the Provincial Government�s Regional/Sectoral Diversification Fund (RSDF). Administered through the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, RSDF is a $5 million fund and a component of the province�s Comprehensive Regional Diversification Strategy. The fund provides non-repayable contributions to economic development agencies for initiatives that address regional and sectoral development and diversification.

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Media contacts:

Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290 
Gary Hennessey
Town of Grand Falls-Windsor

2008 09 09                                                     2:15 p.m.

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