TRURO – The site of the former Maple Leaf elementary school in Salmon River is being proposed for development as a 21-unit multi-use residential building.
That is the plan put forth by Meech Holdings Ltd., of Truro, to Colchester County council in its bid to purchase the property.
“I think the Meech proposal is a good one,” Coun. Mike Cooper said, in introducing a motion to accept a purchase price of $55,000 for the property.
From an economical perspective, the Meech offer “is the right way to go,” he said, because developer Ron Meech does good work and it is a “sound proposal,” Cooper said.
The other two offers included a $52,500 bid from Benchmark Developments Ltd., to purchase the site for the purpose of building a duplex and a $30,000 offer from area resident Ellery Deuville for the purpose of converting the former school into an early childhood development centre.
Although area Coun. Lloyd Gibbs argued in favour of Deuville’s bid, municipal solicitor Dennis James told council that a zoning change would be required for that proposal. That process could take at least a couple of months with no guarantee that the effort would be successful.
“It creates an uncertainty in the process,” James said of Deuville’s offer. “If he can’t achieve that (his intended purpose) then you can’t enter into an agreement.”
If that happened, council would be back to square one with a new request for proposals.
Council also heard that under the Meech proposal, which is expected to cost $1.8 million, the revenue to be generated from the site over the next four to five years would be in the range of $100,000.
Under the Benchmark proposal, the expected revenue would be about $61,000 for the same period while the Deuville proposal would have generated approximately $45,000.
The former Maple Leaf school on Maple Lane was last used as a site for adult school services, but it has been vacant since 2009 when those classes were transferred to the former Princess Margaret Rose school on Willow Street.
The school was declared surplus by the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board in 2012 after which it became municipal property under county ownership.