Bluewater Youth Centre
Central Huron Council Getting Close to Acquiring Former Bluewater Youth Centre Property from Infrastructure Ontario
Central Huron Council’s interest in the former Bluewater Youth Centre property is based on the following:
1. Environmental Stewardship – at nearly 300 acres – this lakeshore property has huge potential which Council believes can only be fully realized once the property has been properly remediated. Council is concerned that should this property be sold to a private developer – full remediation may not take place in a timely manner or at all which undermines the potential this property has to benefit the region.
2. Economic Development – working with the Huron County Economic Development Board, Council believes there are multiple development options for this property to create jobs and generate spin-off economic benefit for the region. Although there is recognition that the timelines associated with acquiring and remediating the property may not work for the current interested parties - Council believes there is sufficient development potential to purchase the property.
3. Avoiding Development Delay – Council wants to play a role in owning this unique property in order to avoid it becoming another investment property that sits vacant for an unknown period of time. Council recognizes that development potential in our municipality has been impacted by individuals or firms who buy land solely as real estate investment. Instead of having this property sit idle for years – Council would rather facilitate development opportunities that would replace some of the jobs lost via the closure of the former youth facility.
Council acknowledges the risks associated with buying and remediating this land. Council also understands the risks associated with doing nothing – which is a missed opportunity for job creation, growth and development for our community. Council believes that as provincial funds continue to decrease and as traditional jobs leave rural Ontario – municipal government must be creative and proactive in sustaining and stimulating our local economy and they see this property as key to achieving that goal.
Central Huron continues to work with Infrastructure Ontario on a potential deal – if this acquisition is going to happen it will be in 2020.