The Utility and Review Board has ordered the province to compensate a company owned by Antigonish businessman Steve Smith $8.1 million. The compensation is for the province’s expropriation of 11.3 acres for twinning the 104 highway. The land, in Lower South River, was owned by Smith’s company S & D Smith Central Supplies Limited.
The compensation of 8.1 million includes the market value of the land taken, reduction of property value and business losses resulting from the expropriation.
In addition, the board is charging 10 per cent annual interest on the market value of the land as well reduction of property value from May, 2001 for delays by the province in determining compensation to Smith’s company. That adds another $2.2 million to the compensation, bringing the total to more than 10 million.
The board says Smith realized that during discussions of the twinned highway, the approved route would sever his property leaving him no room for expansion. As a result, Smith began to look for alternative sites for the “big box” store he planned, which later was built in the Post Road area.