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Town prepares for future senior housing

Masha Scheele

Council gave the go ahead for an RFP process selecting a consultant to complete a geotechnical site assessment on the McMillan Land, during the regular council meeting on Sept. 17. They also approved $25,000 of unused South Area Structure Plan funds to support this geotechnical site assessment on the McMillan Land.

The purpose of developing would be for seniors’ housing, which was established as a priority in council’s strategic plan. 

“This is a good example of where we will look into a process that will make this land more developable, something that we can hopefully attract some investment and development with and ultimately benefit our citizens,” said Coun. Ryan Maguhn.

The geotechnical site assessment is a necessary first step in getting the McMillan Lands that were purchased more than one year ago to support council’s goal of seniors housing development, added Coun. Albert Ostashek.

“It’s using our dollars effectively, looking at a project that may not with the south area structure plan is not feasible to do right now, so taking those funds and putting them towards something in the future is great,” said Coun. Trevor Haas.

Maguhn clarified that in order to accommodate and encourage investment from outside developers, this assessment is key information to be delivered to developers to know what they’re getting into before starting a project.

“The idea is that we’re trying to encourage developers to get seniors housing in an area that we know is beneficial to them,” said Maguhn.

Unused funds from the South Area Structure Plan are used to expedite the process, rather than waiting until after the 2020 budget deliberations. In December 2018, town planning and development and corporate services staff presented on the “McMillian Land Purchase and Potential Opportunities for Affordable Housing.” Council moved forward with the required borrowing for the land purchase following debenture bylaw no. 1127 once the 30-day petition period was up on December 20, 2018. 

Only above grade assessment has been completed on the land.