Province expropriates farm for Cornwall bypass

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Province expropriates farm for Cornwall bypass

The province filed papers March 31 to expropriate a 30-hectare farm, as part of the private lands it is now buying up, so construction of phase 2 of the Cornwall bypass can begin this summer.

The business owner and now tenant on the property says she intends to file for arbitration.

"Our only avenue at this point is arbitration," said Ellen Jones, of the Hughes-Jones Centre for People and Animals. "We want to be able to relocate within the community. We can't do that with the price we were offered."

The arbitration hearing will be handled by a judge, who will decide if the price is fair.

Jones runs an equestrian centre. The land is owned by a company run by her family.

She says the province has agreed to allow her to remain on the farm until May of 2018. She told CBC the province has leased the property to her at a "very" reasonable price. 

Construction of phase two of the Cornwall bypass is slated to begin next month, when work will begin on a roundabout at the intersection of York Point Road and Route 1.

New highway construction in August

The province tells CBC News acquisition of other properties is also now underway. Two have been purchased.  Purchases offers have been signed for three others, and the province says it is actively negotiating for five more.

Negotiations will begin soon for an additional 13 properties required to complete the highway, according to the province.

Stephen Yeo, chief engineer for the department of transportation, told CBC News funding from Ottawa for the work is expected to be firmed up soon.

An environmental assessment is expected to be completed in June, with a public meeting to be scheduled after that.

When the environment assessment is complete, work on a 6-kilometre stretch of new highway can begin, from York Point Road to New Haven. It is this section of the project that requires the acquisition of private land, including the expropriation of the farm.

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