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Woolwich backs move of Scout facility

Backed by Woolwich Township, the 1st Elmira Scout Group will save thousands of dollars when it moves a storage shed from one end of town to the other.

The organization plans to take down the building from its current location on Martin’s Lane before setting up shop on township land at 75 Oriole Pkwy. That site is already home to the Rovers’ Den used by older members of the Scouts.

Because the land is municipally owned, the township has agreed to file the necessary paperwork, negating fees for a building permit and development charges, a total of some $7,700.

The storage shed was built in 1988 and sits on land rented from Martin Mills for $1 a year. That site, however, is proposed to house a biogas energy plant, prompting the search for a new location.

Ron Cressman, representing the Scouts, told Woolwich councillors meeting Tuesday night that the organization uses the shed to store equipment; the applicable charges would be well beyond its budget.

A longstanding agreement of about 38 years made moving the shed to the Oriole Parkway land, at one time home to a pumping station, a good fit, explained director of recreation and facilities Larry Devitt. As the land is Woolwich’s, it also makes sense for the township to file all the applications – “That’s certainly appropriate in this situation.”

The building permit would cost about $450, while development charges would have amounted to about $1,750 for the Woolwich share and $5,500 for the Region of Waterloo, based on a building of just over 1,000 square feet.

The group hopes to use materials from the existing 1,200-sq.-ft. structure to erect the new shed. It will be slightly smaller because the site falls within a floodplain, restricting the available space.

The Scouts have already secured clearance from the Grand River Conservation Authority. Under the current arrangement, the organization has until the summer of 2011 to begin construction.

As an added bonus, having the township make the arrangements also confers tax-free status on the property, noted chief administrative officer David Brenneman.

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