In a special meeting last Monday night at the Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre, Three Rivers Councillor Gerard Holland walked back a controversial remark he made about a development permit in the August committee of council meeting.
The meeting, which was attended by more than 25 members of the public, started by Mayor Ed MacAulay opening the floor for Coun Holland to apologize for the comment made the previous Monday.
“It’s unfortunate it was taken that way. I wish I had remarked that it was downtown Toronto, or downtown Charlottetown for that, matter instead of downtown Hong Kong and I apologize for that,” Coun Holland said.
He said he meant to frame his opposition in relation to urbanizing development in a rural setting.
He directly addressed two members of GWBI (Great Wisdom Buddhist Institute) who attended the meeting.
“We want you here, we like the fact you’re developing what you’re doing in Brudenell. Obviously we have some concerns in regards to how quickly that’s developing but you’re obviously welcome here and don’t think for one second that doesn’t include myself.”
The comments which Coun Holland made were in relation to a development permit for a residential building on the GWBI property in Brudenell.
Janice MacBeth of Victoria Cross questioned how the site would be getting its water supply.
“I’d like to know if it’s a high capacity well or what type of well it will be to service 1,400 people,” she said.
In GWBI’s master plan, it is stated that two well tests were conducted in 2001 at a depth of 290 feet by the province. Based on the tests it appears to say one well would be sufficient to supply the monastery.
Ms MacBeth also inquired about the septic treatment system and the storm drainage management plans.
She also questioned the level of public consultations with Brudenell Council prior to amalgamation.
“How do we cope with our services in this community when we add almost 20 per cent of the population,” Ms MacBeth said.
Three Rivers is home to approximately 7,500 residents. Upon completion, the institute would house up to 1,400 nuns at the end of its master plan, estimated to take 10 years to complete.
Heather MacLean of Brudenell confirmed Brudenell Council did have meetings on the subject.
“There was many consultations; all of the meetings of the former Brudenell Council were open and there was a 2018 meeting that was open to anyone in the region at Roma that went through the details of the overall development plan. Those things did happen,” Ms MacLean said.
A meeting with area residents is noted in the GWBI plan.
On the docket for the special meeting was the GWBI permit, which was tabled again after a motion was put forward by Councillor Ronnie Nicholson and seconded by Councillor John MacFarlane.
After the motion was tabled for the second time, two requests for decision were passed by council.
A tender for an upgrade to the Montague sludge plant was awarded to Williams Murphy & MacLeod of Charlottetown for a total of $1,915,000. The project was included in the 5-year plan to which the town has budgeted $1,988,414.
The final item on the agenda was a request for decision to withdraw funds from the Montague Reserve Fund to pay for the demolition of two properties under the town’s dangerous, hazardous and unsightly premises act.