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Valérie Grondin Par Valérie Grondin

Mercredi, 6 juillet 2016

Cookshire-Eaton Development Plan and Destination Sawyerville in focus

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Mini-houses, an ecological village, a nature trail - those are some of the elements included in a new development plan put forward by Destination Sawyerville, a new non-profit organisation led by Denis Bachand.

The plan is in collaboration with the Cookshire-Eaton municipality, Jean-Sébastien Bachand, president of the new Ramana Hotel Complex (erstwhile Sawyerville Hotel), and the non-profit group Nature Cantons-de-l'Est, all of whom presented their proposals for Sawyerville at the Ramana two weeks ago. They anticipate the participation of businesses and the local community, as well. More than 80 people filled the hall in the Ramana to hear their ideas.

The first step is to develop Ramana's infrastructure and services to respond to the needs of tourists. Next, Destination Sawyerville hopes to promote the area by multiple means, including a website, and to offer support for entrepreneurial initiatives aiming to revitalize the area in an ecologically responsible manner by restoring and building residences. Businesses who wish to collaborate in designing an ecologically responsible village with progressive houses are invited to contact the promoters.

The plan of action begins with the hotel itself providing accommodations, restaurant and well-being resources. Next will come the Spa Eaton, a stellarium, and an "enchanted village" of ecological houses near the hotel, behind the fire station. Following this, work is to begin in September 2016 on the development of an eco-neighbourhood of new progressive houses just south of Randboro Road, on land now owned by the McBurney family and the municipality. Also, a "Rén-O-village" is to rehabilitate existing heritage houses. A "school-park" is to offer water games, a pool, a skating rink, slides, and a foot trail. A cultural centre, including space for shows and exhibits, is also foreseen. Finally, gardens and a water maze at a horticultural centre are part of the plans.

Development strategy
Municipal representatives took the opportunity to present a municipal development strategy for the next 20 years. Following a previous public consultation, five orientations were put forward. The major area of development is to put in place recreational/touristic infrastructures and to develop activities in connection with natural spaces, such as bicycle paths, kayaking, and observation sites. The second axis of development aims to develop a special signature, an identifying niche for Cookshire-Eaton. The third consists of putting in place a system of public transportation adapted to the geographical location of the municipality. The fourth orientation aims to create an airport park alongside the Sherbrooke airport, and other development projects presently under discussion. And the last axis consists of a development plan for the territory in consideration of the eventual extension of Route 410. The mayor of Cookshire-Eaton, Noël Landry, said he is satisfied with the development plan, and believes it has a good chance of being realized.

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