Tom Van Dusen
RUSSELL – A Russell Village resident who’s been fighting a commercial dump at two locations for most of the past decade is hoping a “new look” on Boundary Road will help squelch plans for the 400-acre Capital Region Resource Recovery Centre.
Harry Baker, president of the Citizens Environmental Stewardship Association East of Ottawa, is keeping his fingers crossed that dump developer Taggart Miller Environmental Services will decide to do something more upscale with its property thanks to the arrival on the scene of online retail giant Amazon.
The approved Taggart Miller site at Boundary and Devine roads is about one kilometre south of the soon-to-be one million square-foot Amazon distribution centre on Boundary close to Highway 417 which will employ 600 people full-time.
“I hope Taggart Miller will apply good business sense in rethinking the use of its property,” said Baker, echoing the observations of many who feel Amazon could lift that somewhat tattered stretch of Boundary to new heights with restaurants, shops and other retailers.
Some are suggesting that if Taggart Miller sticks with its dump plan, a potential drop in property values will be offset by Amazon’s presence. Residents of Carlsbad Springs, Vars, Russell and points in between such as Stanley Crescent in North Russell expect to regain resale value they might have lost because of the landfill and recycling centre.
The profile of the largely forgotten rural south east sector of Ottawa will skyrocket, creating all sorts of opportunities, said Baker, a long-time Russell resident, including for Taggart Miller. Carole Lavigne, director of economic development for Prescott-Russell, has called the proximity of Amazon a magnet for new businesses within the united counties.
Specializing in larger items, the new centre is expected to become fully operational next year, with a construction team of 1,500 required to erect it. Amazon is promising competitive hourly wages, full benefits, group RRSP, stock options, paid leave, flexible schedules and performance bonuses.
The only downside brought out so far is traffic congestion expected because of Amazon… on top of truck traffic generated by CRRRC. That will be offset to a large extent by hundreds of new jobs at Amazon, says Russell Township Mayor Pierre Leroux.