Some community members in New Glasgow, N.S., planned to march to the town hall Monday evening to speak out against a proposed long-term care facility.
They're upset that a piece of land in a historically Black community in the town's south has been chosen as the preferred site for a 144-bed facility.
The site is located on Brother Street close to the Ward One Social & Recreation Centre.
"It's like the heart of our community," said Brandy Borden, who said more than 50 people showed up to an emergency community meeting about the project last week.
She's concerned that families will lose green space that they use all the time.
"It would be devastating and sad," Borden said. "We have kids in the community that use the space for recreational activities after school or even during school."
Borden agrees that a new long-term care facility is needed in the area but said other sites should be considered.
The group plans to be at the town's council meeting on Monday night and is hoping to speak directly to the mayor and councillors.
Mayor not ruling out another location
Mayor Nancy Dicks said council has agreed to hear the presentation.
However, Dicks said the development being talked about will mostly be in a treed area and the Ward One community site will not be affected, including the soccer field.
"What is there now will continue to always be there. This is an extension of that property," Dicks explained. "Our feeling was that these two could coexist together. That's not what we're hearing right now."
Mayor Dicks said the site was chosen after seven locations were investigated.
She said while the normal process was followed, it has become controversial and did not rule out that council could consider one of the other sites instead.
Further consultations planned
In addition to the meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, another public consultation meeting will happen later this month, she said.
Dicks said members of the Black community have been making their feelings clear.
"They feel that it does impact the community, which I agree with. It does impact the community. That is traditionally African Nova Scotian people that live there, and that is important to recognize."
The Mayor said council will be listening closely to the concerns the community raises at the meeting.
A fact sheet about the project on the town's website says construction could start this summer, with the goal of completing it in November 2027.
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