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Province asked to put needs of community first as it reviews proposals for Angus seed plant

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In Council Watch
Apr 7th, 2019
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Anne Learn Sharpe

Anne Learn Sharpe of AWARE Essa

Groups have until mid-July to submit proposals for seed plant property

by Brad Pritchard Alliston Herald

The future of the seed plant property in Angus remains as uncertain since the day its closure was announced a year and a half ago. The province says it’s now in the final stages of closing the historic facility that began operating in 1923.

Trevor Griffin, who is regional services manager for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), said the property is currently being circulated to groups outside the provincial government to determine if there is any interest in purchasing the property.

Those groups include the federal government, municipalities, school boards, public colleges and universities, entities identified by the Treasury Board, eligible Indigenous communities, and eligible not-for-profit corporations. These groups have until mid-July to submit a proposal. If there is no interest in the site, he said the province will then put the property on the open market.

Some stakeholders have been told the province expects to get between $30 million to $40 million for the 22-acre site, according to Anne Sharpe, a member of AWARE Essa who has attended the seed plant workshop meetings since the closure was set into motion, though not everyone agrees it’s worth that much. Sharpe thinks the property’s legacy could very well be lost unless the province looks at this from a new perspective.

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