Hawkesbury town council approved a recommendation from administration to restart the process of declaring the land surplus to municipal needs.
“There is interest in the property,” said Chief Administrator Dominique Dussault, “we need to go through the (surplus declaration) process again.”
Several years ago the town acquired the site of the former École Christ-Roi from the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien (CSDCEO). After demolishing the buildings and cleaning up the site, the municipality listed the land as surplus to municipal needs and available for developers to purchase.
The town had received an offer from a Québec-based developer who wanted to build a multi-million-dollar high-end long-term care and retirement condominium on the site. But the developer had problems with securing financing support from the bank and last year asked the town for an extension on the conditions of the land purchase agreement. Town council refused the request and the sale deal collapsed.
Councillor Robert Lefebvre noted that the municipality should have the property re-evaluated for its potential sale price. Councillor Yves Paquette also suggested that the town may want to consider excluding the part of the land that runs right along the Ottawa River bank from the actual sale package. He indicated the municipality may want to have the riverside land available for a pedestrian walkway or other public recreation use.
Dussault assured council that re-evaluation of the property will be part of the process for re-declaring the land as surplus. She also noted that determining what land is available for sale will be done through a separate process after the surplus declaration is completed.