by John Walker
The original 1861 Deed/ Patent for the Market Square/ Village Green in Cayuga has been located by concerned citizens. Copies have been sent to County Council and staff.
Once again, Haldimand CAO Don Boyle has opened his mouth to change feet. At Council meeting on January 24th, CAO Boyle said the Village Green lands were Unpatented (No Deed) so Council decided not to put the new library there.
In the Haldimand Press Feb. 1, CAO Boyle referred to legal advice supporting his position received from retained lawyers. Under pressure this information was released to the public January 31st., 2018. Despite three separate records of the 1861 Patent being issued that were shown to lawyers, Council and staff, they still insisted no Patent existed.
In the same Haldimand Press article CAO Boyle stated that Haldimand County would have to apply to Superior Court to prove Title resulting in a major delay to the library project.
In an email to a concerned citizen on Feb. 5th, 2018 CAO Boyle said regarding the library “the Village Green location… currently is cloud on Title…not registered within…LTCQ system. County would have to make application to the Superior Court to gain Clear Title.”
All of these pronouncements by CAO Boyle have now been proven to be totally wrong. Resulting from incompetence and a lack of due diligence in this area on the part of staff and council, the original Patent for the Market Square was not found although it existed and was available.
The result of this gross error led council to an even greater mistake: the move of the library location to the hotel site on Highway 3.
This resulted in a $1 million cost overrun, reduction in building size from 7,400 to 6,500 sq. ft. and a noisy location, also far more dangerous to pedestrians than the original Village Green site.
There is another important factor that the council, staff and their lawyers chose to ignore. If the county had an “unclear” and “clouded” Title to the Village Green/ Market Square, then all the homes and businesses bounded by King St., Cayuga St., Talbot St. (Hwy 3) and Ottawa St. also had Unclear Title. Fortunately, due to the professional activity of concerned citizens the original Patent affecting their properties has been located. These owners can now breathe easier, no thanks to Haldimand County.
Now that the Market Square 1861 Patent has been located, the council can move to forestall this library project debacle.
Revert to the Village Green site to build the library as the majority of Cayuga citizens have demanded. Cleared or not, sell the old hotel location to a commercial business. Maybe a profit can be realized instead of a $1 million picking of taxpayers’ pockets.
Haldimand County Council and staff, on the next county project, please do us all a favour. Do your homework rather than wait for citizens to do it for you.