Champlain Township is selling one-third of the former Champlain Day Nursery property to the not-for-profit Vankleek Senior Citizens Manor Corporation for one dollar. The deal includes the option to keep the building, with a few conditions. The decision happened at Champlain Township’s November 12 regular council meeting.
The move comes after a delegation from the Manor organization addressed Champlain Township council in November 2019 to inquire about the future of the former day care building as it related to the proposed construction of a new seniors residence. The Manor had hoped for additional land to ensure its building would have sufficient parking and the delegation also hoped for access across the day care land during the construction phase.
During that presentation, Manor spokesperson Gary Barton told council there were currently 141 applicants on a waiting list for housing. He also told council that the organization had just learned that it had been granted $240,000 in SEED funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for pre-construction and an architect’s design. (The Seed Funding program encourages the construction of new, affordable housing.)
Each party is to pay its own legal fees, Vankleek Senior Citizens Manor must pay for the survey of the land to be transferred and Champlain Township will retain right of first refusal if the manor decides to dispose of the property in the future.
Champlain Township will demolish and remove the former day building following completion of the new 30-unit seniors building if the manor decides it has no use for the building.
The township also authorized the Manor organization to use the township’s portion of the day care property for parking and vehicle access during construction of the building.
The resolution was read aloud by the mayor with no discussion preceding it at the November 12 regular council meeting. The resolution was moved by Vankleek Hill councillor Troy Carkner and seconded by West Hawkesbury ward councillor Gerry Miner.
Longueuil councillor Violaine Titley was the only councillor who voted against the resolution.
Gary Barton says that the Manor organization has applied for funding which, if successful, would mean that the construction would be on a faster track. The funding program is to encourage rapid housing development. If the organization qualifies for this funding, the 30 units in the three-storey building would likely be constructed in modular form. That would mean the units are constructed off-site, delivered to the site and installed and connected together to create one unified building.
Champlain Township recently gave permission to the Vankleek Hill Farmers’ Market to operate a weekly, indoor market there on Saturday mornings. The market used the parking lot during the past summer for market vendors; the market’s current location was the Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute parking lot, but the Upper Canada District School Board did not permit the use of its facilities due to the ongoing pandemic.
Gary Barton said that pending completion of the transaction, the Manor organization will accommodate the Farmers’ Market as long as is feasible.