What to do with the old mill site? West Nipissing wants to know

·2 min read

The Municipality of West Nipissing is working with consultants Re:Public Urbanism and Colliers Project Leaders to prepare a development strategy for the former Weyerhaeuser mill site in Sturgeon Falls. To encourage public input into the strategy, a virtual workshop is being held on July 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Participants are asked to register for the event before July 22nd by sending an email to Kassandra Girard, the econcomic development officer, at kgirard@westnipissing.ca, or through a link on the municipality's website.

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Last year, the Economic Development Authority Committee “had recommended to council to have a study done about what type of development” might be appropriate for the land, explained West Nipissing’s mayor, Joanne Savage. Once the study is complete, “council would look at opportunities for development” to “meet the needs of the community or economic development.”

Now that study is underway, public consultation is a key part of the process. The municipality is eager to hear from residents and “all stakeholders,” Mayor Savage said. “We’re looking for input and feedback so we’re definitely encouraging residents to get involved.”

There are over 100 acres to discuss— “there’s a lot of potential”—and the insight from residents will help craft the development strategy. Everything is in the very early stages now, Mayor Savage emphasized, but the virtual workshop will provide much needed direction as to the future of the former mill site.

The municipality is also preparing a Housing Needs strategy to address issues "related to housing supply, affordability, and increased housing," the municipality explained on a recent release. The idea is to "ensure that West Nipissing continues to be an affordable and welcoming place to live." This workshop takes place on July 26, also from 6 to 8 p.m., and people can register by contacting Girard.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca

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