Hornepayne – Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes joined Hornepayne Mayor Gene Belanger and his council for a public meeting on the planned closure of the Town Centre this evening.

The Centre houses 37 apartments, in a community where the vacancy rate is almost non-existent. The centre also contains the town’s only high school, hotel, public pool, library, gymnasium and weight training facility, the only chartered bank, the post office, the LCBO, as well as several other businesses and offices; including governmental offices that provide much needed services to this community.

“This is about the housing, education, and health, all critical components to the everyday life of a vibrant community, said Hughes.”

“It’s unfortunate that we find ourselves in such a situation at a time when the town is being diversified,” said Mayor Belanger. “We need the government’s assistance to help us to explore all possible solutions to ensure that these essential components of our community are maintained.”

A feasibility study that was conducted on the Hornepayne Town Centre in January 2010 gave hope that investors could be found. That hope faded last week as the last potential investor advised the town that he would not be coming forward with any cash, leading to the announcement that the Centre would close on September 30, 2010.

“I am taking an active role in attempting to get government representatives to sit down with the township and find a way to support the Centre while alternate solutions are explored”, said Hughes. “Hornepayne’s future should be bright with the cogeneration plant coming online in a few years and we certainly hope to see the forestry sector pick up over that time as well.”