Residents in Capreol could soon be rolling up the rim without having to leave their community.
Monday night, the city's planning committee approved a plan to build a Shell gas bar, which would include a Tim Hortons and a Subway.
“We want to send the message that Capreol is open for business,” said developer Todd Mazzuca, in his presentation to the committee. “It's been a long time since we've been able to attract a development like this in town.”
Ward 7 Coun. Dave Kilgour, whose ward includes Capreol, supported the proposal, but said he was concerned about the viability of competing businesses in the area.
While it was perhaps his “toughest decision in my four years at council table,” Kilgour said there was no reason from a planning perspective not to support the plan.
“It's probably 30 years that we've been seeking a Tim Hortons,” he said. “But we may see a struggle for an existing set of businesses in town.”
But Mazzuca said economic development like this is essential for communities to grow. Residents are more likely to spend money closer to home if they have more choices.
“Anything that is brought to town is going to mean competition, (but) hopefully healthy competition will help everyone,” he said. “Hopefully, this will prevent people from driving to Hanmer to go to Tim Hortons or Subway.”
Ward 4 Coun. Evelyn Dutrisac said it was good news for the town.
“Congratulations on bringing this development to Capreol,” she said. “It adds to our tax base and gives our residents choices on where to shop.”
Kilgour said he hopes this is just the beginning of development in the town, especially if the billion-dollar chromite refinery Cliffs Natural Resources proposed for the town gets back on track.
“I hope it does ensure that this Cliffs things comes to Capreol and moves forward.”
Mazzuca said he'll likely operate one of the three franchises at the gas bar, but said there was an opportunity for someone else to operate the remaining two.