Closer tabs on former Domtar lands

Coun. Bernadette Clement, left, asks a question of an infrastructure consulting firm during a Dec. 8, 2014 council meeting. Clement had a motion passed to ask for semi-annual reports on the former Domtar lands on Second St. West. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Trying to avoid a repeat of the calcium chloride tank situation, Cornwall council will be stepping up its ties with the owners of the former Domtar property in the west end.

Coun. Bernadette Clement successfully got her counterparts onside Monday night to ask for semi-annual updates with the property owner.

Paris Holdings has cleaned up the 111 acre brownfield property (80 acres on the south side of Second Street West and 31 acres on the north side) since the company purchased it from Domtar in 2006.

The land is zoned for industrial use and Planning Supervisor Ken Bedford was asked by Coun. Clement if another industry could set up shop.

Bedford indicated it’s a possibility.

“I am concerned that we haven’t actually communicated with the developers from a council perspective in a great number of years,” Clement told Cornwall Newswatch.

“My fear in general is, if you don’t as a council show an interest, then it sends a message that things can happen, they can sort of happen out of the blue and it sends a message that we’re not paying attention,” said Clement.

The councillor believes a lack of interest is what resulted in the waterfront tanks on Harbour Road.

Clement believes the last formal discussion with Paris Holdings and council happened when she was chairwoman of the planning advisory committee from 2006-2008.

The action is completely voluntary and not binding on Paris Holdings.

A couple of visions for the future of the property have been on the books for years but nothing formal has come forward.

Planning Supervisor Bedford indicated to council that “the whole atmosphere” around the properties at the north channel bridge will change once the bridge has been demolished.

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