CFN – After going to Cornwall City Council for awhile you learn a few things. One, there’s more manure spread than a farm in Spring; and two if someone is on a committee it’s because they have a vested interest or they are doing what they are told.
Council also has this wonderful trait of saying one thing in debate and then voting a completely different way. People, and some times councilors end up voting on what was said; sometimes not even reading the documents they are voting on.
Mayor Bob “Destructor of Small Business in Cornwall” Kilger and council are seeking to penetrate Lamoureux Park’s pristine parking lot by thrusting a Condo smack in the middle or to the side depending on which way you tilt your head when looking at the funny slides.
After spending almost all of the city’s disposable income from the Prosperity fund on the Lecky-Grant dome; an arena built near a dump, and on the water path from the old Mustard gas plant that burbles and gurgles in the spring, the Mayor and his team are frustrated and want to build something; anything; mostly to distract residents from Million Dollar Man Paul Fitzpatrick’s shenanigans.
Cornwall’s waterfront and downtown have some very critical issues. Stores are struggling or dying. Space needs to be filled, but mostly there is no design or real plan taking place.
A large parcel of land where the old curling rink and theatre were is ripe for development with the rumor around town being that the No Frills store in Cornwall Square is next destined to leave the Ghost Mall for their own location.
The Mall is actually a major issue in this scenario. It’s back end faces the water? I wonder which rocket scientist thought that to be a good idea back in the day?
So the plan, and I use that term loosely is to plop a condo, any sort of condo, in the parking lot between the curling rink and Civic Complex. The benefits? I’m not quite sure and if you watch the next video you’ll see that some of council isn’t either.
I guess this means some more super secret OMB violating meetings in the future.
The good news is that some of the councilors spoke up before capitulation and the opening of Pandora’s box. Led by Councilor Andre Rivette, Councilors Dupelle and O’Shaughnessy spoke of having proper consultations with the public.
The problem with passing this though is that there’s nothing mandatory about how this is done. It simply is hoped to be forgotten until a local developer is given the green light to turn a chunk of parking lot into a lump of condos.
Personally; I have nothing wrong with turning Lamoureux Park into a half billion dollars worth of development. If you look at Brockville and Kingston you can see the impact of waterfront development. It’s a no brainer.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a waterfront Restaurant or bar in Cornwall. We had one. It never was successful and is now office space for the city. No, I think the core of downtown needs to be properly revisited, and not by Denis Carr and his
conflict of interest strange Heart of the City initiatives ( wow did you see how fast Keitha Fisher got HOC dollars for her fast tracked restaurant?).
I think the only true consultation, and I hope some of the 2 or 3 really ethical councilors pick up on this, would be for a motion to not allow any development during this mandate and truly consult with the voters of Cornwall until the next election.
I’d suggest adding a referendum question on the election ballot giving city council the nod to then have proper consultation over development. This issue is so critical to Cornwall that the city can’t capitulate to a small group like they did with the Benson Centre spending vast sums on something that really wasn’t put in the right space because of private lobbying.
Likewise having three developers and Todd Bennett and Keitha Fisher on a committee making decisions and recommendations about our city’s future also scares the crap out of me.
We need to focus on what’s best for the downtown core and Cornwall. We need a plan that will make all work; not just a part of the way; that downtown merchants complain about getting no benefit from Lift Off.
We need to decide as a community whether the impact of two events a year is worth the other side of the coin, which is the impact of full development of our waterfront resources.
Building a condo in a parking lot because you own it and don’t have to wait to acquire land is not a good enough reason for this scribbler. Is it for you? You can post your comments below, and please vote in our polls.