Amherst train sta­tion closer to re­al­ity

The Amherst News - - NEWS -

The sale of Amherst’s his­toric train sta­tion is get­ting closer.

Amherst Mayor Dr. David Ko­gon said the town has learned the fed­eral Privy Coun­cil o ce has is­sued an or­der in coun­cil ap­prov­ing the sale of the Via Rail sta­tion to Amherst.

Amherst will then lease the sta­tion to Je Bem­bridge for a pe­riod of ve years at which time he will take own­er­ship of the build­ing.

“We’re very pleased to hear that this ma­jor hur­dle has been cleared and we’re look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Je (Bem­bridge) and VIA to hope­fully bring this de­vel­op­ment to re­al­ity,” the mayor said in a news re­leased Mon­day.

Ko­gon said the de­ci­sion has been many months in the mak­ing and is wel­come news.

Last Septem­ber, the town en­tered into a num­ber of con­di­tional agree­ments with Via Rail Canada and JE Bem­bridge En­ter­prises that would even­tu­ally see Bem­bridge tak­ing pos­ses­sion of and re­de­vel­op­ing the prop­erty into a restau­rant fa­cil­ity.

Ko­gon said town sta are now in the process of fol­low­ing up with Via and Bem­bridge to take the sale process to the next step and, hope­fully, a con­clu­sion.

Bem­bridge ex­pressed frus­tra­tion in July at how long it was tak­ing for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to ap­prove sale be­cause he feels he’s lost an­other year of con­struc­tion.

His plan in­cludes mov­ing Bam­bino’s Pizze­ria into the for­mer train sta­tion along with an­other busi­ness ven­ture.

Un­der the terms of the deal, Amherst will pay the fed­eral gov­ern­ment $1 for the build­ing and in­stall a new boiler. Bem­bridge will pay $1,083 a month over ve years.

Via will main­tain space at the sta­tion for its cus­tomers and its tech­nol­ogy while also main­tain­ing sig­nage.

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