CARP – The Buy the Village Green committee will return donations raised in an attempt to purchase a parcel of land in Carp that now has private ownership.

The Buy the Village Green project started in 2007 in an attempt to purchase a roughly 18-acre parcel of land at 147 Langstaff Dr. The goal was to have the community buy the land and turn it in to a permanent greenspace with the prospective of building some attractions on the land such as an agricultural museum. Committee members included Carp community leaders Wendy Deugo and Stan Carruthers.

Coun. Eli El-Chantiry told West Carleton Online Oct. 14 the campaign raised about $205,000 with the city donating about $60,000 and $60,000 from Waste Management.

But the valuable piece of property rose faster than campaign donations with sellers asking $5.2 million by August, 2019.

Eventually the land was purchased by local developers Kyle MacHutchon and Melissa Kruyne. Details of their plan for the land, as well as some community input, were published by West Carleton Online on Oct. 15.

At that time, El-Chantiry said the Buy the Village Green project was done, and donors were asked if they were interested in another project.

“Obviously, we didn’t raise enough, and we lost the opportunity to purchase the land,” he said. “We tried everything we could as a community and a city. The property was going up and up in price and our fundraising trailed off. It’s nothing new. That valuable piece of property was going to sell. We asked the donors if they would donate to the Ducks Unlimited project.”

Now the Buy the Village Green committee is looking to return the funds raised to donors who did not choose to transfer to the other project.

“Unfortunately, the committee was not successful and are keeping with their promise to return donations,” El-Chantiry released in a statement today (Oct. 27). “Because they have incomplete contact information for the many smaller donations, the BTVG committee would like to invite people who donated to email them at ​btvg@gmail.com to coordinate the return of their donation.”

Deadline for the return of donations is Dec. 3. 

“Any funds unable to be returned to the original donor will be donated to another community project or initiative,” El-Chantiry said. “Depending on the amount at the end of the year, they will be researching which projects are in need or would benefit the most from the remainder of funds. They will possibly be open to suggestions as well. The committee thanks all donors for their patience and support over the years.”

Tonight (Oct. 27) El-Chantiry is hosting a public consultation session on the proposed development for that site, called Huntley Hollow. The Zoom meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and for registration information, click here.