The former Filtex factory is part of our history and occupies a significant site in the very heart of the town. The increasingly dilapidated property was purchased by the Town late in 2017 with the intention of demolishing the structure and bringing new life to this area. In 2018 our insurance company advised us that the building presented an important security risk and should be demolished as soon as possible. This recommendation required the Town to act more quickly than planned and work was started straight away. The Town has undertaken all steps necessary, using specialist help, to prepare for a controlled demolition of the building. The demolition must respect issues of safety, environmental contamination and the salvage of materials wherever possible. The cost of this controlled demolition is estimated at $450,000 and will be funded by a borrowing by-law.
Once demolition is completed the Town will move to on-site sampling; this is needed to establish what contamination may be present. It is also an obligation imposed by the Ministère de l’environnement because the Filtex is listed as a former industrial site. Opportunities for future development will vary relative to what contamination, if any, is found.
Towards the end of November, a further part of the roof fell in due to the recent heavy snow fall. In addition, part of the eastern exterior walls, in the section between Pine and Depot, also collapsed. The Town quickly reviewed the site once more and established that certain sections at the end of rue Dépôt were precarious, posed a danger to our citizens and threatened a Hydro-Québec pole that links a large part of the downtown. In consequence, a partial demolition of the unstable sections took place early in December. Following the recommendations of structural engineers, a barricade has also been erected. This barrier must be respected and all entry on the site is prohibited to ensure public safety.
The site of the former Filtex factory represents significant financial and practical challenges in the short term. We believe however that it also represents a massive opportunity to create something that will benefit our entire community. Your council is fully committed to an open dialogue with the community as soon as the limitations of the site (particularly as regards contamination) are known; consultations will follow in a timely manner. Meanwhile, Héritage Sutton is completing research on the site and will prepare a full historical report including oral histories from former employees. The historical context of the site will serve to feed all our thoughts on the future of the site.
The council undertakes to inform the community regarding all significant developments and looks forward to a fruitful dialogue with you all in this important development for our Town.
Michel Lafrance, Mayor