The developer planning to build a Tim Hortons next to Vankleek Hill Foodland wants to connect to Vankleek Hill water and sewage services but in order to do so, the connection would have to take place on the east side of Highway 34, which would access land along the highway that is part of the Vankleek Hill subdivision property. The proposed location for the Tim Hortons is in Champlain Township along Highway 34, but is just outside the Vankleek Hill ward limits.
But here’s the catch: the strip of land running on the west side of the subdivision along Highway 34 does not belong to Champlain Township. it should have been transferred to the township after the subdivision was completed, but that never happened.
In an effort to move things along, the developer has offered to pay the transfer costs for the piece of property to enable the possibility of his connection to the town’s water and sewage services.
Homes in the Vankleek Hill subdivision were built in the late 1977 and 1985. The development company which spearheaded the subdivision was called Sunrise Valley Realty Limited; it was dissolved in 2012.
Champlain Township Clerk Alison Collard said that the developer is asking the township to apply to the Crown to have the land transferred to the township. It could take up to six months for the entire process.
“It should have already been done, but it never happened. It was an oversight,” Collard told council during its committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, March 5.
West Hawkesbury councillor Sarah Bigelow thought it would be a good idea to proceed.
“If another project sets up there, we would need to get this done,” Bigelow said.
“Is that the only place they can connect?” asked West Hawkesbury councillor Gerry Miner.
Public Works head James McMahon pointed out that it was not feasible to build a restaurant and then have it using a septic system.
Bigelow said the township should accept the developer’s offer to pay the $1,000 for the process of the land transfer to the township.
L’Orignal councillor André Roy suggested asking the developer to pay the legal fees also.
“The only reason we are doing it is for them. Next week, it will be Amazon . . .” said Roy.
Bigelow disagreed with that idea. “It looks like we’re money-hungry,” she said.
Collard reminded council that there was no input yet from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, which must happen as the Tim Hortons entrances will be on Highway 34.
“If the Tim Hortons doesn’t go there, we should pay it (the $1,000) back,” Bigelow argued.
A recommendation was prepared to indicate that the township should accept the $1,000 offer from the developer to pay for the transfer costs, but that if the Tim Hortons project did not proceed, the township would reimburse the $1,000 to the developer.
This recommendation will be brought before council at its regular council meeting on March 12, 2019, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 948 Pleasant Corner Road.