MV mayor optimistic on housing

Robert Fisher
Staff Reporter

BARRY’S BAY – Madawaska Valley (MV) mayor Mark Willmer recognizes the need for the township to grow and the important role housing plays in growth.

“We need to grow. We need to encourage growth,” Willmer said. Growth comes with challenges, the need to prepare and plan.

The township announced at its April 3 council meeting that it would be applying for a grant to help build water and wastewater infrastructure to support new housing under a provincial Housing Enabling Water Systems Fund program that was recently expanded. The infrastructure would support housing at the site of the former King’s Landing development on Trader Lane. That development was to be 70 housing units and Willmer remains optimistic that there will be housing built on the site.

The county asked its constituent townships to provide lists of housing options ahead of an affordable housing summit it hosted last Thursday in Renfrew. Madawaska Valley sent a list of six or seven possible sites to the county, including the one on Trader Lane.

“We have to make it known we’re interested here and open for business,” Willmer said. “We can make approvals and things like that easier, that’s really where we can help.” The county, he said, will be key to leveraging its relationships with higher levels of government to get funding, “because the county is really important on this when it comes to provincial funding and where the provincial funding goes.”

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