Presented By Lorna Walker
Most of you know me, Lorna, from the bookshop. First, I want to thank you for coming today.
Many of you have already seen this iron bar. It is one of many that have been knocked down by passing traffic along Hwy 3 because the new streetlamps are positioned too close to the curb. This one hit the bookshop. It missed the large picture window.
We heard the crash, stunned we ran outside to find the iron banner-arm in the grass. We know how close the truck came in order to clip that arm and send it barreling across the sidewalk – a deadly missile.
Some are calling the streetscape a fiasco. We just know that we lived through it in the bookshop. We watched other businesses close as a result of it. We had a two-foot drop at our door for weeks – We were CLOSED for two weeks, not knowing when we could reopen ~ this after the county assuring Cayuga businesses that any interruptions would last no longer than 24 hours.
Now we are left questioning the apparent finished product. There are over fifty banner arms down. We know of at least one RV windshield that met with a banner arm. There are ugly redundant utilitypoles – many with no wires attached. They overshadow the new streetlamps. There is broken concrete, missing concrete, broken curbs, a downed stoplight and one of the new streetlamps was ripped out at the corner of the new fire station (after months, recently replaced). AND we have a “crash-test” wall at the east end of town. Let’s just say, it is not the beautiful street w/ underground cables that our councillor originally bragged about.
But even more problematic for the downtown businesses is the obvious oversight of a promised parking lot. Is there anyone here who signed this petition asking council to provide a parking lot? The petition was scheduled prior to the last election in order to determine which candidate understood the necessity of off-road parking.
Unfortunately, the petition was never presented because the owner of the large car dealership on the east edge of town – President of Cayuga & District Chamber of Commerce – came into the bookshop before the election and requested that we cease and desist, assuring us that the current councillor would be getting parking. To this day, we still have no parking lot.
A significant retail space on Cayuga Street has stood empty for two years, the owner having negotiated three different (possibly four) potential leases – one for a dollar store – but the deals never got off the ground because of lack of parking. Opening soon, is a much anticipated and welcome new café on Cayuga St. Where do we expect their customers to park?
The Cayuga & District Chamber of Commerce concluded at one meeting that the consensus was that a parking lot was the priority. The President of The Haldimand Stewardship Council, located on Cayuga Street, visited the mayor’s office, spoke with his assistant – the mayor was not in – and later invited our councillor to meet in the Stewardship office. I was there. The only suggestion that Councillor Morison offered was that the Stewardship have the Chamber of Commerce write a letter to council. (Last month, the Haldimand Stewardship Council voted unanimously to send their own letter to council.)
The next time you walk along or park on our village streets, please ask yourself if you are satisfied with the current council and the administration staff. If not, keep in mind that we have a municipal election on Monday, October 22. Thank you.