Still no decision on where OMAFRA will move

Wellington County council is still waiting for information to learn where the new office of the On­tario Ministry of Agricul­ture, Food, and Rural Affairs will be.

The OMAFRA office has been located for many years at the Wellington County Muse­um, but an expansion of the archives there means that most of that portion of the building will be demolished. That left local farmers concerned that the OMAFRA office might be moved to an inconvenient loca­tion, such as Guelph. Aboyne is almost the mid point of the county.

They were also concerned about losing free meeting space for their commodity groups.

Councillor Brad Whit­combe, the chairman of the information, seniors, and heri­tage committee that oversees Wellington Place, told  council on Sept. 22 that plans for the archives plans are coming along. He added that it is pos­sible the new building will be able to use some of the old building’s foundation and wall.

He said any new building will be “a respectful use of whatever elements are avail­able.

When Whitcombe took ques­tions for his report, coun­cillor Carl Hall asked if there is any indication yet where the OMAFRA office will be located.

Warden John Green said that the Ontario Realty Cor­poration and OMAFRA have yet to make a decision or announcement. He added that he is expecting an answer sometime soon.

“He hasn’t got back to me yet,” Green said. “When that happens,we can help. We have made some effort for the com­modity groups to meet.

County Chief Adminis­tra­tive Officer Scott Wilson said he has a contact who has told him that the ORC (the provin­cial arm for acquiring and selling land) and OMAFRA had told him that officials are looking at sites now.

Wilson added that the new location will be “50% larger – and meeting rooms will be available to commodity groups on the same basis.”Hall called that information “good News.”