Port terminal property sold

Tomlinson Group buys Universal Terminals port and terminal.

Site work is ongoing at the former Universal Terminals property. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

SOUTH DUNDAS – A major industrial site has changed ownership. R. W. Tomlinson Ltd., an Ottawa-based construction, environmental, and transportation company, recently purchased the Universal Terminals property on County Road 2 between Morrisburg and Iroquois.

The company operates out of 16 docks in the Great Lakes region focusing on aggregate materials sales like rip-rap or shot rock, which is used along shorelines to prevent erosion.

“I am pleased a high-quality and innovative company recognized the valuable opportunity in Morrisburg,” said now-former owner Tom Kaneb in a statement to The Leader.

“Tomlinson brings dependability and expertise to the operation of the marine terminal.”

In the near-term Tomlinson has planned minor changes to the site. Currently the company is undergoing a soil remediation process at the property which began in early July.

The terminal property previously had several large oil storage tanks on site and was originally constructed in the 1960s as a shipping and storage tank farm for petroleum.

The facility, which spans Lakeshore Drive, has the only deep-water commercial dock on the St. Lawrence Seaway between Johnstown and Cornwall. For several years the dock and property has shipped and stored rock salt for use on roads in the winter.

Tomlinson Senior Vice President Rob Pierce said that with the demand for aggregate products, the company’s CEO Ron Tomlinson considered the purchase of the dock and industrial land a “unique opportunity for both R.W. Tomlinson and the community.”

He added that “Tomlinson is committed to working with the municipal government and local stakeholders to formulate a plan to grow business and employment opportunities in Morrisburg and surrounding area.”

Rob Hunter, South Dundas economic development officer said that the municipality is aware of Tomlinson’s purchase of the property.

“At this time there have been no development proposals filed with the Municipality,” he said. “It is our understanding that Port facilities are regulated by the Federal Government and that there would be Federal Departments that would need to be engaged regarding any potential development.”

Hunter added the municipality is waiting to hear about any development plans for the site.

The UT port property was subject to a contentious battle between Kaneb and area residents over the construction of grain bins on the property nearly a decade ago.

Residents appealed the M1 rezoning uses of the property, losing in court in 2016.

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