Balancing act: How others view Alexandria, Maxville
Alexandria and Maxville exceeded expectations, however, a group of visitors stresses both communities must pull off a “balancing act” to prosper while retaining their small-town charm.
Under the First Impression Community Exercise, a team from North Dundas noted strengths and weaknesses during their tour of the communities recently.
The group concluded that Alexandria will face a few hurdles on its way to success:
Beautification of the downtown core to attract new businesses and inspire existing building owners and businesses to improve their location
Getting local government and residents to agree on commercial development initiatives
Maintaining the charm of an old style country downtown area, while attracting larger retailers to the area
Encouraging the local farming community to have land used to expand residential homes and commercial sectors in the areas immediately surrounding the town
Maxville may face a few challenges in the road ahead:
The lack of retail and professional services will hold back many from moving to the area
Limited connectivity available in the area is a major concern for beautification programs to help restore the downtown commercial and residential spaces. This would help to bring some cohesiveness and charm to the town that will attract more tourist and newcomers.
Opening up additional industrial and residential lands to help the area develop may also be worth considering.
Maxville should develop the fairgrounds area to hold more events year round to get a consistent flow of tourists, which would help motivate business owners and professionals to consider the area. It will be a balancing act to maintain the small town charm, while trying to develop the commercial spaces downtown and grow the variety of housing options at the same time.
The visiting team was comprised of Stephen Mann, Economic Development & Communications Officer, Township of North Dundas; Samantha Berry, lawyer, Ault & Ault Law Offices; Vince Zandbelt, self-employed contractor; Carol Johnson, Chesterville and District Agricultural Society; Anne Carrière, owner of Simply Baked Catering; Jackie Pemberton, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Regional Director for Zone 11 (Leeds, Grenville,
ROUGH START: You know you’re going to have a bad day when your car is in the ditch even before the sun rises. This unfortunate motorist ended up in the median on Highway 417 near Vankleek Hill after losing control on a slushy surface. Winter has already taken a heavy toll on drivers. In the span of six days, some 31 motor vehicle accidents were reported to the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police detachment.