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Town will explore uses for betterment of the town, says mayor
Property that was once an essential part of Grand Falls-Windsor’s development could soon be in the hands of the town.
After its paper mill closed back in 2009, with the land later being expropriated by the provincial government, Mayor Barry Manuel said council moved forward with an effort to take ownership of the land and existing properties.
That lobbying effort has been successful.
While Manuel said there hasn’t been a set date, a property transfer will take place. Along with the mill’s land, he said, the transfer will include a training centre, a road way – locally known as the mill stretch – and Grand Falls House.
“That land was monopolized for 100 years by industry, and it was used for the purpose of creating employment and generating economic stimulus in our community, which obviously served us very well over the years,” he said. “That land, we have a natural attachment to it and we feel, where it was used for the best interest of Grand Falls-Windsor for 100 years, it should remain so.”
Once the transfer is complete, the town will be looking at ways to once again use the property for the betterment of Grand Falls-Windsor.
This, he said, could be in the form of walking trails, park space, along with small business and tourism development opportunities.
But there are no plans in motion for the property just yet, and the public will be engaged for input.
“There’s a lot of discussion that needs to be had, and a lot of consideration around how it can be best developed,” he said. “The options are pretty broad, and certainly, whatever happens down there in the future, it would have to benefit our community.”
And to see properties such as Grand Falls House in local hands is reassuring to Manuel.
“It’s an old building that has heritage value, and the grounds are valuable as well,” said Manuel. “The town wanted to make sure we controlled the fate of that property.”