Muskoka To-DAILY

Gravenhurst mayor ‘disheartened’ by collapse of Muskoka Centre school talks, but vows to continue economic efforts in earnest

Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAILY.com

GRAVENHURST — Mayor Paisley Donaldson is less confident, but standing by the Muskoka Centre bid partners.

Mayor Paisley Donaldson was joined by CAO Glen Davies and Scott Lucas in saying the town will fight on after failing to negotiate a deal with the province for the Muskoka Centre.

A “disheartened” Mayor Paisley Donaldson was joined by CAO Glen Davies and director of development services Scott Lucas in saying the town will fight on after failing to negotiate a deal with the province for the Muskoka Centre.

“Today, while I am disheartened by the news of an impasse in negotiations with the province, I remain optimistic that a positive conclusion is around the corner …,” she said Thursday.

In making it all but official a new Chinese bilingual high school may not see the light of day, she said town efforts will continue to find another fit for the property, along with more economic prospects large and small.

Her announcement came at a public meeting following a special closed-door council meeting, and on the same day as a public economic development meeting to pitch new ideas for the town.

And it comes just days after the former Ford dealership at (ironically) Muskoka Road and Winewood Avenue received a new ownership tenant in Wayne’s Tire.

Donaldson offered the following public statement, flanked by CAO Glen Davies and Scott Lucas, director of development services.

“I’d like to begin by sharing my appreciation to council, staff and members of the public who have supported the ongoing work of the Muskoka Regional Centre Redevelopment Project.

Our goal for this project has always been to partner with an investor who valued our perspectives and understood our objectives.  Those objectives – To grow a more diverse economy, provide much needed year-round employment opportunities, and retain and attract new business ventures to our community.

In addition to finding a partner who shared a cultural connection to Gravenhurst, we were very pleased that the joint venture of Maple Leaf Educational Systems and Knightstone Capital Management had full intentions to meet our communities’ goals, and were as equally enthusiastic to bring new life to the former Muskoka Regional Centre property.

We had, and continue to have complete confidence in their ability to be a responsible stakeholder; we know that they value and respect the natural beauty and surroundings of the property, and that they have a keen desire to become a part of the very fabric of Gravenhurst. (We hope that this may still come true.)

Today, while I am disheartened by the news of an impasse in negotiations with the province, I remain optimistic that a positive conclusion is around the corner and that we will, as a community reach our objectives.

Through previous correspondence, I have expressed my concerns to Premier Kathleen Wynne and asked her to realize the huge potential and benefits of this redevelopment, not only for our community, but for the Province as a whole.  I intend to continue to push the Premiere’s Office further to find an alternative way to allow this important project to proceed. Staff and Council will also revisit our strategy and explore ways we can move forward.

Again, I thank everyone in the community for their ongoing support and patience as we work to bring growth and prosperity to Gravenhurst.”

Short URL: http://www.muskokatodaily.com/?p=28708

Posted by on Oct 5 2017. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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