Dawn-Euphemia Mayor Al Broad says his municipality is doing everything it can to get a new greenhouse operation off the ground.
Greenhill Produce from Chatham-Kent plans to build a $80 to $100 million facility in Edys Mills. The company hopes to break ground this summer and could employ between 150 and 300 people depending on the type of crop grown. Officials are considering peppers, tomatoes or cucumbers.
Broad says township staff have been working with the company to try to secure a large enough water supply for the 100-acre project.
Dawn-Euphemia gets its water from Enniskillen, which in turn buys water from the Town of Petrolia.
“We have an engineer presently working to see how much available water we have in our system and what could be done to bring more water down,” says Broad.
“The engineer is looking at it to see what capacity we have in our system and how much Enniskillen has in their system and maybe what Petrolia has in its system.”
While Broad didn’t know exact figures off the top of his head, the project will need a lot of water.
“If the total project moves forward, the amount of water used will be more than the township is presently using today.”
There will be some direct economic benefit to the project for the municipality. The operation will pay agricultural taxes and some extra revenue will be generated for the water system.
Broad is excited to see the project move ahead saying it will create local jobs and perhaps attract more people to live in Dawn-Euphemia.
“If I can get one family to move into my municipality, to move in and not tear down a house, that would be good. We want to keep our schools open… and we need families within the community to do that.”
Greenhill hopes to start construction this summer and Broad believes it can be done.
“Absolutely, we hope we can get it up and running this summer.
“Our council is going to do everything we possibility can to make sure this thing flies, within reason.”