Economic development committee hears local...
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Apr 09, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Economic development committee hears local business owners’ concerns

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BY SHANNON DUFF

THE MINTO EXPRESS

PALMERSTON – Following a letter and petition by Palmerston business owners sent to Town of Minto council, members of the municipal economic development and planning committee addressed the outlined concerns at a recent meeting.

“A delegation of concerned Palmerston business owners brought forward some concerns regarding the Tim Hortons and gas bar developments in the Palmerston Industrial Park, including zoning, fair market value, labour force and downtown revitalization,” stated a report coming out of that meeting.

Background information provided indicated that in about 2005, the front lands of the Palmerston Industrial Park were re-zoned to permit highway commercial uses along County Road 123 and general industrial uses behind.

The land in question was for sale for almost eight years before it was sold for the Tim Hortons and gas bar development.

“It has never been the intention of the Town of Minto to realize the gain on the sale of an industrial land,” the meeting report stated. “By bringing new employment to the area, it is the town’s hope that the labour force will expand.”

As originally reported by The Minto Express earlier in March, the letter submitted on behalf of Palmerston business owners stated, “While we welcome a Tim Hortons franchise, or any other business for that matter, our concern is that the Town of Minto inadvertently, with good intentions but poor foresight, sold serviced land at significantly below market value, thereby creating an uneven playing field for your current committed business owners of Palmerston. These Minto business owners have shown their long-term commitment to our community by investing in Palmerston, as well as its downtown core, which, as you are all aware, is struggling.”

The letter, signed by Concerned Community Business Owners, read that Tim Hortons’ excellent branding would suck business from the downtown core and other restaurants in the community. The letter illustrates the fact there were once four gas stations in Palmerston, and three have since closed.

“We, as community business owners and investors, support your efforts to improve the living and business climate in the Town of Minto, but in this instance, we believe you have been short-sighted. Our suggestion and advice is to rescind these two sale agreements if at all possible. It is a matter of principle: Supporting our long-term business members who have been supporting our community and will continue to support our community in the future.”

Town of Minto council opted to turn the matter over to the municipal economic development and planning committee.

The committee carried a motion to send a letter to the concerned Palmerston business owners thanking them for their delegation.

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