Points to pon­der con­cern­ing arts cen­tre

Tri-County Vanguard - - OPINION -

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

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