03NOV2015 – Councillor Cody Oschefski was asked about this story and took it upon himself to seek answers from the Town of Midland. He was able to produce a document that explains the status of the project and, with his permission, we have published it here. We thank Councillor Oschefski for providing this update and hope that the information flow surrounding this project will be more liberally provided. The attachment is below.
The Town of Midland has been eerily silent as of late about the Midland Bay Landing development. After awarding a multi-million dollar contract to Consar Building Corporation early this year, the open-ended MOU (no start or end dates) called for site remediation to begin at the expense of the developer. A grant was actually turned down by the Town of Midland that would have seen the project funded and implemented by now.
Ken Michaud, the developer, has a dubious track record and a criminal conviction for fraud in relation to failed waterfront development, but Mayor McKay was not worried when he found out… he re-assured Midland residents that he was fine with this developer and that ‘we are all not lily white’. Read his comments here.
As part of the MOU, Consar has agreed to:
- remediate the lands at their cost (estimated at $600,000)
- repay the town for the initial purchase of the lands ($3.4 million)
- construct all the public elements on the property ($11.6 million)
In return, the town will sell the developer the remainder of the land and waive about $6 million in development charges and permit fees for Mountain Ridge’s / Consar planned residential, commercial and institutional buildings.
McKay stated “The company will remediate the waterfront lands at their cost, which is estimated at $600,000.As well, it will repay the town for the initial, $3.4-million purchase of the property and build all the public elements on the land at a cost of $11.6 million.”
Michaud’s financial backers, China-based Yifeng Group are reported to have pulled out and cite financial liquidity issues. Why is the Town not commenting; they should have been the first people that we should have heard this from.
Where does this leave us? We see that the town has applied for land transfer variances for the whole former Unimin property and adjoining parkland and has posted a cryptic legal notice (only what is required) in the paper that invites interested citizens to attend HGR law firm and review the documents and find out what the proposal is.
Is Consar shopping for new financial backers (since presumably they lack the funds to meet the MOU obligations on their own), are we going to find them in default of the MOU and put it out for RFP again? Is the Town going to put aside any ‘face-saving’ and tell us the truth about what is happening and what the plans are?
Instead, no press releases, no web updates, nothing on their facebook page… just the same empty space we started up with this year and nothing to show for it except our monthly loan payments for the land acquisition and a ‘letter of credit’ from Ken Michaud that may not be worth the paper it is written on.
We expect FAR more transparency and clarity from the Town of Midland about the largest development project in our history. When they fail to keep us all up-to-date it only feeds the notion that they have something to hide, a theory widely held by many who skeptically see the awarding of this contract to the one and only RFP they considered as a dubious business venture.
Here are some supporting documents that may interest you. Once again, you may want to reach out to your elected officials and ask them to set the record straight and open up the communications with the town’s residents.
With so many major issues at play simultaneously, average Midlanders could easily be forgiven for not knowing which hand to watch with this many balls in the air… We are watching and reporting back to you, but nothing will change until you start asking questions and join us in holding Council accountable and demanding more transparency in Municipal affairs.