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Written By: Friday, February 17th 2017

A new grocery store being proposed for Markdale is still some time away as Grey Highlands council decides the best location.

A recent public meeting exposed a divide on where the store, rumoured to be a Sobeys, will be located.

The proposed location would put the 11,000 square foot story and almost 160 parking spots on Toronto Street (Highway 10) about two blocks from the downtown core.

It would also require zoning changes by Grey Highlands council.

However there are a number of residents who would like to see the store located closer to the downtown saying the proposed location would fracture the community and create two downtown areas.

They’d like to see the news grocery store located where the old Food Town was which is property already owned by Sobeys.

Food Town was closed three years ago.

There is a small Foodland (also owned by Sobeys) on Highway 10 at the southern outskirts of Markdale but many residents at the meeting talked about going to Hanover and Owen Sound to do their grocery shopping and other errands.

Grey Highlands Mayor Paul McQueen tells Dock News wherever it ends up, the impact of this $12 million project will be huge for Markdale.

“They’re proposing a bigger store and a better selection. One issue that did come out of the public meeting was that people are leaving town to get better selection. With this development to be three times the current store, maybe those people won’t be leaving and others may, in fact, be coming in.”

McQueen says he also heard comments after the public meeting regarding the developer building houses if the store goes through.

The Highway 10 location was also the site of a proposed grocery store 25 years ago but was defeated at an Ontario Municipal Board hearing.

Then in 2008 a Tim Horton’s was also proposed for that location which was also scrapped when it went to the OMB.

The next step is a meeting between municipal officials and planning consultants who will pour over the comments made at the public meeting.