A much needed upgrade and expansion to a Temiskaming Shores industrial park will pave the way for commercial and industrial growth.
Dymond Industrial Park, adjacent to Highway 11, currently has 70 acres of land but its tenants occupy unserviced lots. Three wells provide non-potable water and septic systems handle waste.
“We have never had water and sewer and we had been trying for a number of years to get those services,” said James Franks, economic development and funding co-ordinator for the city.
Funding has been secured to add the services to the existing tenants and to an additional 80 acres currently being developed.
Following the amalgamation of New Liskeard, Haileybury and Dymond Twp. in 2004, $1 million was secured from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. (NOHFC) to install water throughout the park. Following an environmental study, it was found that the existing septic systems may not have been able to handle the additional amounts of water.
NOHFC allowed the city to keep the $1 million as it tried to secure more funding to install the required sewage system.
“We received an additional $1 million from NOHFC and $2 million from FedNor,” Franks said. “The total cost of the project is $8.5 million and we are still seeking additional funding partners.”
The additional 80 acres will include lots that run along the west side of Highway 11 to allow for greater visibility. Larger lots suited more for industrial use will be located behind the new commercial and business area.
“This will really enable the community to grow,” he said. “We are a service hub for the region and this expansion of services and available lots will help us to attract business.”
The city has been receiving calls and letters of interest about the industrial park and there appears to be pent-up demand for the lots prior to the project being finished.
“What we have to determine, though, is what the land is worth and how much do we sell it for,” Franks said. “We have been speaking to other communities because we want to ensure it is at fair market value and reasonably priced.”
New Liskeard and Haileybury both have industrial parks but it was determined that the Dymond Twp. location was the best one to expand and invest in. All three communities had no more serviced land to accommodate commercial and industrial expansion.
“Neither of the three communities could do it on their own,” Franks said. “The boundaries of the three communities prevented growth and expansion prior to amalgamation so this is an example of one of the benefits of communities joining together.”
Water and sewer services would not have been available to Dymond Twp. since it was not connected to New Liskeard's system.
“Now it is connected to New Liskeard's water treatment plant so from a health perspective, it is better for the tenants,” he said.
The nearby hospital in New Liskeard will have access to secondary water and sewer services due to the industrial park being serviced.
“That's another bonus since the system is now looped to include the hospital,” Franks said.
Once the park is fully serviced, the city will no longer have to check the tenants to see if proper signage was posted warning about the non-potable water.
“We survived the major economic downturn since our economy is diversified,” Franks said. “We aren't tied to any one specific industry so we are very lucky. Having businesses call us about the park is very encouraging. It will be good for the city and the region.”