(EDITOR’S NOTE: A few weeks back we published an article about projects funded through a “Community Initiative Fund” for the Carp Road Landfill. As part of an agreement with the City of Ottawa, Waste Management has contributed over $600,000 to projects in West Carleton, Stittsville, and Kanata. In 2007, $60,000 of that amount went to a project called Buy the Village Green in Carp. We were curious about what the funds were used for, and sent reporter Victoria Klassen to look into it. Here’s what she found.)
The Buy the Village Green campaign, which began in 2007, is still alive. The aim of the campaign is to purchase a 14 acre property owned by the Honeywell family, including the land that the Carp Fair uses every year. The people behind the campaign want to prevent this land from being developed, and keep it instead as green space for the community to use.
Wendy Deugo is part of the Buy the Village Green committee. She could not talk about specifics of the negotiations, but did say that although the campaign may have slipped under the public radar in the last nine years, there “is stuff still happening in the background.”
“It’s a case of process, and dealing with a family. The price that they want and the price that we’re willing to pay. There have been a few changes in development in the last year, but things move so slowly,” said Deugo.
“You have to go through the proper processes, and then if there’s changes it has to go back again through the process. So we’re just going through process after process…it’s just the way it is.”
Deugo said they have been able to raise over $200,000 for this project. This includes $60,000 from the Waste Management’s Cap Road Landfill Community Initiative Fund.
Eli El-Chantiry, the councillor for West Carleton, helped secure the $60,000 for Buy the Village Green. Deugo said this money really helped keep them “in the ballgame at the time.”
“Eli has been a very strong force in trying to make this happen,” said Deugo.
This community initiative fund money is still set aside to be used for Buy the Village Green if the project goes through, Deugo said. The other money came from fundraisers and donations from the community.
“We went to the farmers’ market and we had a booth there and we sold feet,” Deugo said. “People could come up and buy a foot for $10, and that’s what we did. So there were some people who bought 100 feet, and some people bought two feet. Some people split on a foot. It was quite fun.”
Buy the Village Green stopped raising money once negotiations began. Deugo said that if the project does not go forward, then all of the money will be returned.
“If they finally decide that this project isn’t going to go ahead, we have promised to give back the people their money,” said Deugo. “That is still in place. It’s just a case of things happening, so we’re still waiting.”