Points to ponder concerning arts centre
I read with interest in Barrie McGregor’s letter to the editor the various opinions as to why a new arts facility should be built on the proposed Collins Street site.
I agree that a downtown location would be great, however, I believe the public needs to be aware of several situations that could make the former Arcadia school site a better choice.
The Collins Street parking lot is currently well-used, in fact the only such lot that serves a busy banking/commercial area. I disagree that the Town of Yarmouth has loads of parking. At the end of each month I have had to repeatedly drive “around the block” to try to gain access to my bank. The Collins Street lot is full. I don’t bank online as that will cause people to lose their jobs at the bank, (just as what will happen when the Town of Yarmouth decides to privatize the emergency dispatchers to an outside facility.)
With two eateries now near Scotiabank and bumpouts, parking and driving gets creative. Underground parking would not be an option, in my opinion, at the proposed site which leads to my next issue.
What the town is being mum about after bags of money have been allocated for an architectural plan, consultant fees, site analysis, etc., is that the minute the asphalt on the site is disturbed there is a potential environmental situation lurking beneath. Given the town’s stellar record with the Lake George fiasco, this may not be a good idea. There were two service stations on this site. The Yarmouth County Museum probably has pictures of these. I have heard these service stations were not following environmental guidelines and that when an oil change was done the oil was let loose and was absorbed by gravel. This would all need to be dug out and trucked away to be disposed of safely at an exorbitant cost to the town.
The current YARC has struggled for years. Finally with proper management it is a great venue and seems to be doing well in its current location. Many people feel that the purchase of the former Arcadia School shows forward thinking. It is making use of a fine facility that has loads of parking, a lovely trail nearby, and, with a lot less expenditure, can be transformed into a topnotch facility. Arcadia is not that far away from its current location, and Yarmouth’s first settlers settled in Chebogue and the Arcadia area before coming to the town proper in the 1760’s. My ancestor was one of them.
The residents of the town need to be aware that with two architectural assessments, an expensive environmental cleanup, plus constructing the actual facility there, this will cause a higher tax rate for the residents of the Town of Yarmouth. The extreme lack of parking is going to cause people to avoid coming to town altogether and shop elsewhere – i.e. the malls. You are shooting yourselves in the foot. Think about this.
Veralyn Anne Rogers, Hebron, Yarmouth County