At the Limerick Township council meeting on Aug. 16, a closed session began the proceedings. One of the matters attended to was a meeting by council with Ben Samann, the new owner of the 67,235 acres in Hastings County, some of it within the boundaries of Limerick Township.
While it was a closed session and is confidential, afterward in the public session, Mayor Carl Stefanski, Councillor Jan McKillican and Samann provided some very general comments of what had transpired and revealed that there would be a public town hall meeting arranged with Samann at a future date to be decided.
Samann confirms that he did indeed meet with the Limerick council on Aug. 16.
“And as much as I’d like to claim there was some secret agenda to take over the world, it was really mostly a ‘meet and greet’ to talk about hunting, hiking, concerns about us overloading the transfer station if we have too much trash, the usual stuff, really. I have volunteered for a town hall meeting later on,” he says.
Stefanski also addressed Samann’s presence in front of council during the closed session once the meeting went back to an open meeting.
“We had a meeting with Ben Samann, the owner of the park and Land’escapes and everything went well,” he says.
McKinnon agreed and said that Samann seemed prepared to work with council on just about everything they talked about, like road access within the property.
“He’s also agreed to come to a public meeting at some point in the future [date to be determined].”
Stefanski added that Samann also seemed somewhat receptive to making an arrangement with the hunting camps, an issue that is ongoing and is some cases fraught with difficult and aborted negotiations between the hunting camps and Samann, according to some of the hunters on this land.
“And that’s just about everything. A lot of questions and answers came forward, and he seemed to be right on top of everything,” he says. “We’re a little more confident with what’s going to be happening up there.”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times