LONG SAULT – In addition to passing a bylaw to dedicate land as a public highway, the township of South Stormont council also voted in favour of naming it the Jim Bancroft Boulevard.

The decision was made during council’s Jan. 12 meeting, where director of planning and building Karl Doyle made the recommendation, noting the public highway is needed to facilitate expansion of a new road in the Long Sault East Industrial Park, which will support future development opportunities expected to commence this year. Township politicians were in full agreement.

“It is necessary to dedicate the road as public highway,” Doyle said. “Should council not pass the necessary bylaw, development within the Long Sault Industrial Park would be halted and potential opportunities could be lost.”

The road expansion was completed in September 2021 and then surveyed by IBW Surveyors. The plan was then sent to and approved by the Land Registry Office on Nov. 24, 2021. With accurate legal descriptors in place and with road frontage via the new public highway, the lots can now be sold. Staff also recommended naming the new road after former Mayor Bancroft who died in December 2020.

“He dedicated many years to the service of his community as a member of council of the former township of Osnabruck and the township of South Stormont. Jim served on numerous committees and community groups in support of residents and demonstrated a passion and commitment for the betterment of the community,” Doyle stated. “Staff reached out to discuss the road naming initiative with Amy Bancroft before the Christmas holidays and she gratefully accepted the honour and is supportive of the initiative.”

With council’s approval, municipal staff plan to host a commemorative road opening either later this winter or in early spring. South Stormont politicians were effusive in their agreement of the name, adding their recollections of Bancroft and his many contributions to the township.

“I want to thank you for bringing this forward. This is a real great honour to the late Jim Bancroft. He did a lot of great things for this community, to build this community to where it is today. I had the privilege to work with Jim for many years,” Mayor Bryan McGillis said. “I think that it’s important to remember what people do for the community in the past and to remember the names of the people that made a difference, and I think that when we mention Jim Bancroft, he made a difference to this whole community and I’m very passionate and emotional about this.”

Deputy Mayor David Smith echoed the mayor’s comments but added a suggestion; he said naming the road after Bancroft is great but said it might be even better to name the entire industrial park after him as well. While no motion was made, it was noted that further discussion would be had on Smith’s suggestion.