A consultant has been approved by city council to carry out what is called a record of site condition on the western portion of the old city fairgrounds at Sidney and Bridge Street West in Belleville.

Belleville council agreed Monday to spend $209,603 including HST to secure the services of Cambium Inc. to prepare the record of site condition on the lands to quicken development plans for the proposed YMCA facility and the rejuvenation of the existing Quinte Curling Club.

Jarrod Gliddon, a development engineer with the city, told council that all “additional lands will be developed in the future in alignment with the needs of the community including potential residential uses and mixed uses [including] commercial and residential.”

To change the current land use that is now designated open space to a residential land use, a record of site condition is required, Gliddon said.

“Cambium Inc. has completed a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment, a preliminary Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment for the property and are currently undertaking a subsequent Groundwater Sampling Program,” Glidden said.

“Through the completion of these assessments, the results indicate that volatile organic compounds (VOC) impacts are only present in a portion of the site. As such, to facilitate the record of site condition application process with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, the most effective approach is to split the property into two record of site condition parcels: the risk assessment RA parcel and the remaining site consisting of the future YMCA lands,” he said.

The contamination being referred to is related to compounds such as trichloroethylene formerly used as cleaning agents on the production floor of the former Northern Electric – later Nortel – firm lying to the north of the fairgrounds along Sidney Street.

“Once the expedited record of site condition is obtained, the remaining surplus lands included in this parcel will become more viable and attractive to future purchasers to support a rezoning to residential or mixed uses.”

City planners, meanwhile, have penned a draft blueprint for a major redevelopment of the longstanding Quinte Exhibition Raceway property located at the northwest corner of Sidney and Bridge Street West.

A draft rendering by the city of the property made public in April shows a completely modified 20-plus acre property that razes all structures on the property – save the Quinte Curling Club — including the aging concrete grandstand and agricultural outbuildings to make way for new multi-level apartment buildings, a new housing subdivision as well as a proposed new multi-million dollar, 60,000 square-foot YMCA facility on 4.6 acres.

Two apartment buildings with 80 to 100 units are also tentatively slated for the eastern end of the fairgrounds property.

Redevelopment of the site is in tandem with one of the largest municipal projects in the city on record to redesign Sidney and Bridge Street intersection, widen Bridge Street easterly and building a new Avonlough Pumping Station to service new housing growth in the city’s west end.

The project will see Sidney Street and Bridge Street widened and several key intersections nearby altered to streamline traffic volumes in the West Hill area that are expected to increase, according to preliminary plans by Belleville’s municipal engineering department.

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