Russell Industrial Park planning leaves residents in the dark

Gabrielle Vinette
Russell Industrial Park planning leaves residents in the dark
Some Russell residents feel they were not consulted when the municipality planned to expand the 417 Industrial Park closer to Eadie Street. (Photo : Russell Township)

Russell homeowners feel like communication between the municipality and its residents is lacking after recently discovering the Township’s plan to expand the 417 Industrial Park.  

During Russell’s council meeting on November 27, Councillors brought forward the subject of the expansion of the 417 Industrial Park, extending west from St Guillaume Road along Burton Road, mainly focusing on the Industrial Land Sale Policy and related by-laws. 

The proposal for the park is to continue Emard Street further west to reach Eadie Road. Phase 3, is to sell municipal-owned lots to businesses and build until they reach near Eadie Road, bringing industrial buildings closer to the residential area. 

When the floor was opened for questions from the public during the council meeting, more than a half dozen residents came forward to express their confusion on the future plans for the park. Many were frustrated and felt they had been left in the dark about the plans, pointing to the municipality’s poor communication, particularly to those living in the area. 

“The way we found out about the roadf coming up was there was a surveyor driving stakes into the land. And respectfully, that, I don’t think, is a fair way to do it,” said David Skinner, a resident on Eadie Road, just west of the industrial park. 

“The Industrial Park is a golden goose for us. That’s what’s allowing us to build the Recreation Complex. That’s what’s allowing us to have the second lowest tax rates in all of Prescott-Russell. It’s (because of) all that growth,” said Mayor Pierre Leroux. 

Leroux reminds residents Russell Township have Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter) and LinkedIn accounts which relay important information to residents. People can also subscribe to the newsletter on their website and have access to the council’s calendar and public agenda.  

“We have more ways to communicate than ever before, and we seem to be more disconnected than ever before,” said Leroux. “We follow all the provincial guidelines when it comes to putting out materials. We put it on our social media, we put stuff on our newsletters, in the local papers, the local radio. Communication is a two-way street. There has to be a willingness to seek out that information as well.” 

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