ERIN – The former Mundell Lumber property, including the historic grist mill, in Erin village has been purchased by Wellington County as a site for a new library.
Creation of affordable housing options is also part of the plan for the site.
Warden Kelly Linton announced the purchase following an in-camera session at the April 28 Wellington County council meeting.
Linton said staff have been directed to finalize an agreement to purchase the property and outlined the county’s plans to create a new library, adding staff have also been directed to pursue affordable housing options that could be built on the property.
“This is another great example of collaboration and strong partnerships that has become a County of Wellington staple,” stated Linton in a press release issued by the county.
“I want to thank the Town of Erin for working with the county so we can develop this unique property for the residents of Erin.”
“This development is going to be fantastic for the Town of Erin,” Erin Mayor Allan Alls stated.
“Residents have been looking forward to the redevelopment of this property for years, and the opportunity to build housing for those with more modest needs in our community is something we’ve needed for a long time.”
“County staff will work with all levels of government to determine the appropriate affordable housing options to be built on this property,” said councillor David Anderson, chair of the county’s social services committee.
County planning director Also Salis said plans for affordable housing on the property are still in the information-gathering stage.
“It’s exploratory in that we would have to await the availability of funding from either level of government,” Salis told the Advertiser.
Salis said most the commercial buildings on the property were removed by the current owner, although there is one renovated storage building that’s in good condition.
“And then, of course, the other building is a grist mill building and that’s obviously staying and then there will be parking and other site works that will be necessary,” said Salis, adding the new library will be located in the former grist mill building.
Noting the new library is the priority, Salis said site preparation and design work will be among the next steps on the project.
Mary Lloyd, chair of the information, heritage and seniors committee, stated, “Over 20 years ago, the late Brad Whitcombe, past warden, championed the need to revitalize the county’s library system.
“The new Erin library will complete this vision.
“All 14 branches in the county will have been revitalized and will continue to provide learning opportunities for residents of all ages for many years to come.”