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Aug. 5, 2020 | Wednesday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Confounded by some of council's latest decisions

Dear editor:

Recent articles on the lord mayor’s activities and council’s decisions are confounding to many I am sure, and difficult to understand for others. 

A heritage municipal tax rebate, for example, can be simple.

The owner of a heritage-designated building should apply and benefit from the proposed rebate.

No other interest should benefit from the program and the building’s designation is the important criteria, not whether it is residential or commercial, nor restricted to a specific area in the community.

Much of the program as described is unworthy of those owners of such important buildings in our community. 

Closing of the downtown core for traffic is worthy of action but not providing the description of the area makes it difficult for residents to comprehend the affected area.

A two-block area, four-block area, six-block area, eight-block area and hours of the closures or is it the intent of council to impose a complete and total closure 24/7? This would be helpful information for businesses and residents to understand.

Please provide parking locations with a commuter system in place to relieve congestion on the side streets, in the planning. This would help offset lost parking revenues.

An administrative report suggests council should hire a procurement officer to assist the town. The hiring of a commissioner for business development would go further to assisting council in planning and delivering these many programs it is initiating.

Council decided to repeal an interim control bylaw that froze urban developments. After such a draconian act, council is asking developers to buoy our local economy by investing in our community during this recession/depression of the pandemic. I wish them luck.

Rural high-speed internet service is required in our community and waiting for others to do it would put our community on a very long provincial list. Would council consider empowering Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro to initiate, implement and deliver such a service? It could be a source of additional revenue for our municipally owned business, which has a very high rate of success in delivering its services.

Between the COVID pandemic and its impact on our economy, council will now compound issues by implementing policies that will impact residents and put further doubt on investing in our community.

Positive decisions can best be made when the complete facts are provided to the community for discussion. This may be one good thing the COVID pandemic forces on us in our policy process.

Derek Insley