No tax break for school

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL News Staff

South Glen­garry coun­cil unan­i­mously turned down a re­quest for a property tax break for a pro­posed in­ter­na­tional pri­vate school and dor­mi­tory in Sum­mer­stown last week.

Coun­cil heeded the rec­om­men­da­tion by gen­eral man­ager of cor­po­rate ser­vices/trea­surer Lach­lan McDon­ald to deny the re­quest “based on in­suf­fi­cient au­thor­ity to do so.”

Fol­low­ing up on a coun­cil re­quest made dur­ing the April 1 reg­u­lar meet­ing for more time and in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the re­quest from the owners of the Up­per Canada Academy (UCA) for a cap­ping of their an­nual property tax at $5,000 for a pe­riod of seven years, be­gin­ning in 2019, Mr. McDon­ald re­turned with a “fur­ther re­view” staff re­port last week.

“To en­sure all avail­able op­tions were ex­plored, Staff Re­port 41-2019 (presented at the April 1 meet­ing) was sent to the Min­istry of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and Housing to in­quire what op­tions are avail­able within the Mu­nic­i­pal Act,” stated Mr. McDon­ald.

“Fol­low­ing the con­ver­sa­tion, it was quite ev­i­dent that our op­tions are lim­ited, to non-ex­is­tent,” be said. “Ul­ti­mately, the Min­istry stated that we have no au­thor­ity to of­fer tax abate­ment to the UCA.”

Mr. McDon­ald added that after be­ing “guided” by the Min­istry to the Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Ser­vices, and Tax Col­lec­tion, por­tions of the Act – as well as the Plan­ning

Act – he fur­ther de­ter­mined that “we can­not of­fer help” to the pro­posed ed­u­ca­tional institutio­n.

How­ever, Mr. McDon­ald told coun­cil that the con­sor­tium be­hind the project “may be el­i­gi­ble for fund­ing through the United Coun­ties Re­gional In­cen­tive Pro­gram.”

Ac­cord­ing to a mid-Jan­uary pre­sen­ta­tion to South Glen­garry coun­cil made by con­sor­tium mem­ber Jesse Ning, the Up­per Canada Academy plans to spend al­most $8 mil­lion be­tween 2019 and 2022 on the property at 19119 County Road 2.

That site in­cludes the “Cari­boo” Cameron House/Fair­field House, built in 1865, and a build­ing that served as a novi­tiate/re­treat and apos­tolic boys school for the Catholic Chur­chaf­fil­i­ated Le­gionar­ies of Christ from the mid1990s un­til June 2013.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr. Ning, by the mid­dle of the next decade, the UCA would have 120 full-time board­ers, 180 short-term stu­dents and 600 sum­mer campers, as well as pro­vide 30 full-time jobs and 30 to 40 part-time po­si­tions, “re­sult­ing

in over $2 mil­lion in di­rect an­nual in­jec­tion into the local econ­omy.” The previous South

Glen­garry coun­cil ap­proved a re-zon­ing ap­pli­ca­tion from the UCA group in Au­gust 2018.

PROM­I­NENT SPOT: The school is to be es­tab­lished on the site of the for­mer Fair­field man­sion.

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