Cupids mayor of­fers clar­i­fi­ca­tion

Says mis­un­der­stand­ing at heart of Cupids, Roaches Line land dis­pute

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

An ap­par­ent land dis­pute be­tween the Town of Cupids and the ser­vice district of Roaches Line is be­ing termed as a mis­un­der­stand­ing by Cupids Mayor Harold Akerman.

Some mem­bers of the ser­vice district have been un­der the im­pres­sion Cupids has the in­ten­tion of tak­ing over the area.

In an email to The Com­pass, Mor­gan Rus­sell, chair­man of the Roaches Line/Goulds Ridge Road ser­vice district, wrote the com­mu­nity was in the process of be­ing “taken over by the Town of Cupids.”

“It seems that this has come about due to the town of Cupids hav­ing fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties and be­ing un­able to set­tle their debts or re­fi­nance their debts in any other way, so they see the ser­vice district of Roaches Line/Goulds Ridge Road as a way that they can take us over and pay their debt,” the email con­tin­ued. How­ever, that is not the case. When asked about the ap­par­ent takeover, Akerman was adamant his com­mu­nity has no in­ten­tion of mov­ing its mu­nic­i­pal boundary to in­clude Roaches Line.

“It’s not fea­si­ble,” Akerman said. The dis­pute arose af­ter Cupids de­cided to up­date its mu­nic­i­pal plan last year. In­cluded that plan is the Roaches Line and the Goulds Ridge Road ser­vice district.

Al­though not in­cluded in the mu­nic­i­pal bound­aries of Cupids, the ser­vice district is in the com­mu­nity’s mu­nic­i­pal plan­ning area. This plan­ning area ex­tends from the edge of Cupids’ mu­nic­i­pal bound­aries to a few feet shy of the Trans-Canada High­way.

Akerman said this has been the case for many years.

“A plan­ning area is an area where Cupids would move to and take in, but no that has not been de­bated,” he said.

The prob­lems started to arise af­ter the provin­cial govern­ment sug­gested Cupids redo its mu­nic­i­pal plan.

Roaches Line was clas­si­fied as ru­ral, mean­ing it is zoned for cab­ins and the like, but not per­ma­nent dwellings or small businesses.

How­ever, the com­mu­nity has al­ways been a place where people moved to build a home or start a small busi­ness.

Look­ing at this, Akerman said the town switched the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of Roaches Line.

“We looked at it, we could help the people if we switched it from ru­ral to res­i­den­tial mixed,” he said.

This meant Roaches Line and the Gould Ridge Road would be on the right side of the clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

“It would in­clude houses and small businesses,” said Akerman.

Additional at­tempts by The Com­pass to reach Rus­sell were un­suc­cess­ful.

As is cus­tom­ary when chang­ing a mu­nic­i­pal plan, Cupids held pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions for res­i­dents.

When the town held its first meet­ing, many res­i­dents from Roaches Line came out for an ex­pla­na­tion.

Akerman said the ru­mour had started that Cupids was look­ing to ex­tend its mu­nic­i­pal bound­aries to en­com­pass Roaches Line.

To quell these fears, the mayor ad­dressed this ru­mour right away.

“I started the meet­ing sim­ply to say, ‘the Town of Cupids is not mov­ing its mu­nic­i­pal bound­aries to take in Roaches Line,” said Akerman.

Ser­vice district restarted

Since the first meet­ing, mem­bers of the com­mu­nity re­formed the Roaches Line and Goulds Ridge Road Ser­vice District. The group even erected a new wel­come sign, ap­par­ently, stak­ing its ter­ri­to­rial claim over the area.

As a re­sult, the newly res­ur­rected ser­vice district and Cupids met to fur­ther quell any talks of a takeover.

Akerman said the district re­quested not to be in­cluded as a res­i­den­tial-mixed zone.

Cupids obliged, switch­ing the clas­si­fi­ca­tion back to ru­ral but with some mi­nor al­ter­ations to in­clude res­i­den­tial homes and small businesses.

When asked what sparked this lat­est flare up, Akerman said it was a mis­un­der­stand­ing be­tween a pair of emails sent by mu­nic­i­pal af­fairs.

There has since been clar­i­fi­ca­tion pro­vided by the depart­ment.

“We are not in any way or shape, or process, try­ing to take over Roaches Line,” he said.

There is an­other meet­ing planned be­tween the two par­ties in the com­ing weeks.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

This new road sign marks the be­gin­ning of Roaches Line. In re­cent weeks, there has been a dis­pute be­tween the ser­vice district and the Town of Cupids over be­ing in­cluded in the plan­ning area for Cupids.

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