Ormstown is one step closer to having a multifunctional sports complex built in the area.
The project cost, estimated at nearly $9 million, received the go ahead from the municipality, and the promoters have obtained an agreement to build the recreation centre on property belonging to the New Frontiers School Board. A group of business people proposing the project met recently with elected officials from the region to give a detailed presentation.
“The future of the project is now in the hands of the 13 mayors of the Haut-Saint-Laurent MRC. Financing scenarios are on the table for constructing a building that would be 85,000 square feet,” revealed Patrick Abran, one of the promoters.
The interior of the complex would include an artificial turf for soccer and which could be used by other sports such as field hockey, football, baseball, rugby, lacrosse, walking, climbing, badminton, tennis, golf, spinning as well as volleyball. Institutional partners have shown an interest, including one school board, for holding their after school programs and for developing a sports-study program. Health professionals (occupational therapists, physiotherapists, chiropractors) could also be part of the project.
The non profit organisation could receive financing from three levels of government, federal, provincial and municipal. Stéphane Billette, MNA for Huntingdon and Chief Government Whip, indicated he was very open to the idea at a meeting with entrepreneurs. The initiator of the project, Daniel Schinck revealed that an international sports equipment company would like to establish a store in the future complex.
“After two years of work, we are pleased with the way this project is developing. We have dedicated some 2,300 hours towards it. This community project will have a dynamic effect on the social development of our region and make it especially attractive to young families,” stated Patrick Abran. “This sports complex will attract clients from a number of other municipalities such as Beauharnois, Vaudreuil-Dorion and Salaberry-de-Valleyfield,” the promoter pointed out.
Little support from the municipalities
It appears that the enthusiasm shown by one of the promoters of the future multifunction sports complex in Ormstown was not echoed by the majority of the elected representatives in the Haut-Saint-Laurent MRC.
The Gleaner learned Wednesday, during the election of Louise Lebrun to the position of prefect of the MRC, that 11 of the 13 mayors opposed the project because the costs were considered too high. Only the municipalities of Ormstown and Sainte-Barbe gave their support, which means the promoters have more work to do to convince the decision makers.
Louise Lebrun, the new prefect who is also the mayor of Sainte-Barbe, believes the project was misunderstood by her peers at the MRC table. Ms Lebrun expects to meet with the promoters again to try and find a new avenue for this file. The prefect feels that the municipalities of the MRC must offer adequate services if they want to try and stop the declining demographics in the Haut-Saint-Laurent territory.
Translated by Cathleen Johnston