East Ferris plans to break ground on a new municipal building this fall, November 27, to coincide with their 100th anniversary.
“The municipal office has always been this council’s centennial project,” Mayor Pauline Rochefort said, noting that since 2019, the project became “a cornerstone” of the municipality’s strategic plan.
Although this council has made the new building a main priority, it is not the first council to consider the project.
“It’s a long-awaited project,” Mayor Rochefort said, that began in 2006 when council of the day made “a decision that we needed a new municipal office.”
Three years later, “they declared the municipal office obsolete,” concerned over “numerous structural and mechanical problems.”
Built in 1967 as, “an Expo project,” the building was perfect for the three employees of the township, with a 1,000 sq. ft. plan, which was increased by 500 sq. ft. after a renovation in the 1970s.
Since then, the municipality has grown, and 10 people require office space within the municipal buildings, which is split between Corbeil Park Hall and the East Ferris Community centre, “both in high demand” from the community as well.
As such, the new building is much welcomed by council, and will be constructed on the site of the old St. Theresa school in Corbeil.
Some might recall this site was contaminated by fuel oil used to heat the school, a fact discovered soon after the municipality purchased the building in 2009.
In 2011, the municipality began demolishing a part of the building, which is when it discovered “many years of fuel oil” had seeped into the earth, Mayor Rochefort said.
“The municipality took care of this, assumed its responsibilities, and oversaw the cleanup,” she said, adding that the site is ready to develop.
“They’re working on it now,” she said and aims to have the site fully prepared this fall. “In the early spring, the walls will start going up.”
It is anticipated the building will cost $4.5 million, Mayor Rochefort said, with “cost savings to be had from reusing the exiting boiler, septic system and parking lot” already on site.
“The project is expected to be tax neutral for East Ferris ratepayers.”
Financing has been arranged through Infrastructure Ontario and coming in at “about 7,500 sq. ft.” the building offers enough workspace for 18 people, Mayor Rochefort explained.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca