Ninety-six acres of land in the Renfrew Industrial Park area should generate modest revenue for the town over the next five years or more.
Council has approved a five-year lease, with the option for a five-year renewal, to Brian and Don Kemp of Ironwood Farms.
The Renfrew residents didn’t have the highest bid, but the administration committee recommended acceptance of the Kemps’ offer based on the facts that they are local taxpayers and their bid was very competitive.
The current lease, at $50 per acre, will pay the town about $4,800 per year. The highest of three expressions of interest would have generated $53.50 per acre, or nearly $350 more.
The land is located behind Hultink Garden Centre, between Whitton Road and Gillan Road
This vacant land has been available for agricultural use the last several decades. There was a long-standing agreement between the town and former property owners from the Mask family.
Therefore, the land continued to be farmed in the absence of development.
If the land is now sold by the town, the tenants have agreed to terminate the agreement after being served six months’ notice. This would give the tenant time to cover an entire cropping season, said clerk Kim Bulmer.
“It’s a good use of the land,” said Bulmer of the new lease. “It provides stewardship and, of course, some revenue.”
“It’s a good way to make a few extra dollars on land we’re not currently using,” said Coun. Gail Cole.
“I look forward to it (the farming) going on, until we sell the land.”
In 2012, a temporary lease with the farmer operating the land at the time provided $4,320 in revenue for the town.