Letter to the Editor – Rezoning of the North Grenville High School


Dear Editor,

I have read two articles about the rezoning of the North Grenville High School. It would appear that the developer did not cross some “t’s” or dot some “i’s” in his enthusiasm to start the development and revitalization of downtown Kemptville at his own expense. The only person that seems to be willing to work around these minor issues is Amy Martin. I believe she is working within the parameters of her position and has the skills and is willing to navigate hurdles to facilitate progressive resolution. Job well done. Don’t let others drag you down Amy.

It is unclear to me if the concerns about consultation applies to all North Grenville developers. It is perfectly clear that Council has drawn the bead on site specific and developer specific concern. For Ms. Stackerjan and Deputy Mayor Jim Macmanaman to attend a meeting that was planned weeks in advance and not have the integrity to do some research on some of their own concerns is a cause for concern to the voting public. They should know about the heritage designation in their own Municipality. As for the status of the Cenotaph, that should have been researched by them before the meeting. I personally do not know the status of the Cenotaph but what I do know is this. When Ken Demelo bought the property, at his own expense, without being forced to, he made sure the Cenotaph was maintained, i.e., grass cutting, litter removal, hedge trimming, weed control, leaf removal before November 11 so that the grounds were as safe as possible for the elderly people attending the ceremony. The only problem on site was a sunken sewer grate owned by the Municipality. Still not fixed.

I know one person from Council who was at the meeting who was fully aware of Mr. Demelo’s personal initiative at the Cenotaph. My question is why they did not speak up and clarify the situation. My guess is it did not suit the agenda of the evening.

It is obvious Mr. Demelo and his high school project is under close scrutiny. I believe this has potential to negate positive progress to revitalization.

I would suggest that Council against this initiative group together, have a private meeting then get back in the sandbox and play nice with the new boy at school. I would also suggest that Mr. Macmanaman be refrained from throwing his big balls of red tape in any direction. It is a Health and Safety issue and they could hit other Council members and Mayor who wish to run for reelection and one might bounce back and hit him.

Now, if everyone is in the sandbox and still can’t get along I suggest some options.

  1. Property owner builds Canabis Growth Facility with Retail Store on site with tours. A great tourist attraction. I know of a store owner who would be very receptive.
  2. Approach the Provincial Government to build a private Correctional and Treatment Centre that would be privately owned and leased back to the Government just like most OPP stations. This idea is not that far fetched because it’s on Town water and sewer. That is the number 1 requirement for a Government Facility. It has proven it can handle approximately 350 students. Same requirements as incarcerates. And, oh yes, the Algonquin’s have not laid claims to these grounds.
  3. Take your investment dollars to Prescott. If they knew a man with his own money and his hands in his own pockets was coming to town, they would pin him to the sidewalk and not let him up until the nice Church ladies have prepared their small sandwiches, preserves and tea to welcome this individual and also they don’t care what their river is called. They would embrace progress.

In closing, my expertise is as a Development Consultant and Correctional Facilities. I cannot question Mr. Macmanaman’s expertise in asbestos or structural engineering. Hopefully, Mr. Demelo will stick around long enough and have enough interest to question his credentials. I do not know if Jim knows of what he repeats or speaks.

Dr. W.J. Young (C.O.E, retired)


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