No Main? No problem
The organizers of South Glengarry’s proposed Community Improvement Plan (CIP) have identified a problem bringing the program into Glen Walter.
“The purpose of this event is to engage business owners and members of the community on the revitalization of Main Street areas,” said Joanne Haley, South Glengarry’s General Manager - Community Services, at an information meeting at the Glen Walter fire station last Wednesday evening.
Very quickly, the handful of people mentioned that Glen Walter doesn’t have a traditional Main Street – a strange reality for a community that has one of the township’s largest tax bases.
While communities like Lancaster and Martintown have readily identifiable main streets, that’s not the case in Glen Walter. Perhaps the closest thing it has to one is County Road 2 and although there are a number of businesses on it, several other enterprises are far removed from it.
Ms. Haley said the situation would not stop the township from trying to implement the program in Glen Walter.
“We would have to come up with a map that would determine the eligible properties,” she said.
South Glengarry’s CIP is a joint initiative with the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. While the upper tier municipality wants to focus on redeveloping brownfields, developing agri-tourism, and repurposing vacant land, the South Glengarry program would focus on providing grants for façade improvement, new signage, building and landscape improvements, heritage restoration, and building permit fees.
South Glengarry is, to a large part, emulat- ing the CIP that’s been in place in North Glengarry for the past two years. In fact, North Glengarry’s program was referenced several times at Wednesday’s meeting, specifically how the township initially offered the program exclusively to property owners in Alexandria and Maxville before branching out into smaller municipalities.
More immediately, South Glengarry needs to create a CIP advisory committee before it can move forward. Ms. Haley says that the municipality will spend $25,000 on the program in 2018. When pressed, she stated that the money is taxpayer money and conceded that some residents might object to their money being used for such improvements.
South Glengarry’s Deputy-Mayor, Frank Prevost, confirmed that the United Counties had budgeted $100,000 for the initiatives.