Council gives go-ahead for business park in north Fergus

FERGUS – Council unanimously approved the business park strategy prepared by McSweeney and Associates at its July 26 meeting.

The township purchased land on Dickson Drive in north Fergus for a business park in 2020 and the strategy will see the area developed in phases as the land sells.

Eric McSweeney told council that regionally and locally, business park lands are in high demand and expects they will sell out within two years of going on the market.

“There’s a regional scarcity of one to five acre lots,” he said. “Demand has not slacked off.”

He said the first phase of the strategy is to extend Dickson Drive to First Line and sell off large lots  in the six to 12 acre range.

Smaller lots will be sold in the second phase.

Land will sell at market value and deals are to be negotiated by the CAO.

“I’ve been involved in this project for a number of years,” said Jim Gibbons, a former mayor and member of the economic development task force, who attended the meeting. “This council bought land and it will be very successful.

“This is the first council that listened.”

Staff will now establish policies and set conditions of sale, said CAO Andy Goldie.

“We’ll create a template for purchase offer and sale. If (a buyer) doesn’t develop the land, it will return to the township,” he said.

Councillor Kirk McElwain wondered if more money should be allotted for marketing.

“We think you’ll have your hands full with offers,” McSweeney replied. “I don’t see the need to do TV and magazine marketing.”

“This will bring jobs and investment to this community in a competitive environment. It will drive jobs to Centre Wellington,” said Mayor Kelly Linton.