Town awards land leases for farming

It’s a way to earn money from municipally-own­ed property until it can be sold for its original purpose.

On Feb. 17, council awarded a number of land lease contracts to residents. In all but one case, the lands will be farm­ed. In the other, no bids were received and council has to take another look at what will be done to maintain that property over the next year.

The following properties were reviewed:

– 10 acres located in the Harriston Industrial Park;

– 25 acres in the Palmerston Industrial Park;

– 10 acres east of the Harriston cemetery;

– 48 acres east of the Har­riston sewage lagoon; and;

– 12 acres north of the Clifford sewage lagoon.

Deputy-mayor Judy Dirk­sen declared a conflict of interest because as Scott Dirksen was a bidder on some of those leases.

The three-year leases are run to 2012.

Mayor David Anderson said leased acreage in the industrial parks takes into consideration the land may still be sold for industrial purchases.

Treasurer Gord Duff added “They have to understand it is still industrially zone land … it’s part of the agreement.”

As for the land north of the Clifford lagoon where there were no bids, Anderson asked what happens then.

Duff said when the tendering process was done a few years ago, there were no bids either, but there would be some maintenance of the property.

Anderson wondered if it would become a habitat for wildlife.

Councillor Wayne Martin asked if the site is suitable for a tree nursery for the township.