The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
An $8.8-million deal to upgrade water and sewer services to industrial land in New Sudbury – which had the potential create hundreds of new jobs – is dead and may spark legal action against the City of Greater Sudbury.
“We’ve already spoken to a lawyer,” said Robert Brouillette, who owns City Welding on Elisabella Street and speaks for other businesses in the Lasalle Elisabella Industrial Area. Brouillette said his company will be taking the lead in the legal action, with the help of other property owners in the area.
“Basically, we’ll be hiring a firm to gather some information and likely to meet with the city to indicate to them we’re serious about getting (infrastructure issues) fixed at their cost. “Everyone is so upset and pissed off it’s unreal,” he said, adding the decision “means we’re not going to grow the city.”
In a release issued late Friday afternoon, the city announced the $8.8-million plan to upgrade infrastructure to Lasalle Elisabella Industrial Area didn’t get enough support from business owners and so wouldn’t proceed.
“We are obviously disappointed with the response, but we will respect the wishes of the majority,” Mayor Marianne Matichuk said in a release.
Ward 8 Coun. Fabio Belli isn’t surprised by the development. He predicted in July, when city council approved a cost-sharing plan for the project, that it would never get enough support from the businesses there.
“I stated to city council at the time we made a decision that (the proposal) wouldn’t be viable,” Belli said. “Council didn’t want to listen,” he said. “I had a feeling that … they’d decide to take this and move on to a different project.”
With the exception of Belli, councillors favoured a plan that would have seen the area’s property owners paying $662,761 over the next 15 years for the $8.8-million project.
Another $3.4 million would have been recovered through charges at the building permit stage of expansion, while the rest would have come from the city and senior levels of government.
However, for the plan to go through, the city said it needed two-thirds of benefiting property owners in the area to agree to the proposal – something Belli and many business owners insisted would never happen.
True to their word, 32 property owners didn’t support the proposal and 20 didn’t respond. Only six supported the plan.
The business owners argued the city should pay for the expansion because they have been paying taxes to the city for years, but not receiving proper water and sewer services.
The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce supported the business owners, and said if the industrial land at Elisabella and Lapointe was brought up to standard, it would attract new businesses that could create up to 500 jobs.
For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2012/08/10/city-faces-legal-action-as-deal-dies