Town buys former hotel property for parking, future land sales

The Town of Minto will purchase the former Mansion Inn property and create a downtown parking lot here.

A report from CAO Bill White at the April 4 council meeting notes that in March Mayor George Bridge, staff and Triton engineering met with Clifford businesses regarding the Elora Street reconstruction project in the village, scheduled for 2018.

“One concern is parking for business during the construction project,” the report notes.

Business and economic manager Belinda Wick-Graham arranged a meeting with the landowner about the property at the corner of Allan and Elora Streets, the site of the former Mansion House (later known  as the Mansion Inn) that was destroyed by fire in 1993.

The report states the lot is suitable for 20 to 40 spaces minimum. A gravel base could be excavated and asphalt millings from Elora Street used to finish the lot.

“This will eliminate unsafe boulevard parking on Allan Street,” the report states.

“A sidewalk would also be constructed at least part of the way down Allan past the proposed parking lot entrance. The intent with Allan Street is to extend urban design improvements from Elora Street down to the arena, hall, library and Rotary Park.

“Public parking would be useful during Elora Street reconstruction and after to support local business, community hall and church events,” and the site would also be useful for temporary events including the 2017 Homecoming.

An investigation by public works staff and Triton Engineering confirmed that rubble, building material and ash from the Mansion House remains on the site.

“The property is suited to parking and grassed public space, but removing the fill and remediating the land for re-development will be cost-prohibitive in the medium term,” the report notes.

White told council, “Not only will (the extra parking) be useful during the reconstruction, it’s a parcel that the town’s had its eye on for public open space.”

Bridge said, “I think this is going to be a good plus,” for the village.

White stated the purchase price can be funded, with no impact on tax rates, from future land sales. Parking and fencing would be developed as part of the capital project for Elora Street.

Council approved a bylaw authorizing the mayor and CAO to sign a purchase agreement with Sherry and Dennis Kaufman for $36,000.