CFN – The stunningly beautiful Long Sault Parkway is sadly closed this winter; one of the most beautiful times to enjoy its beauty. The Parkway is the centre of a battle between South Stormont Ontario and newly entrenched poobah Darren Dalgleish.
The dispute seems to come down to the end of the Farran Park lease to South Stormont and Mr. Dalgleish’s reluctance to foot the bill (between $10-25K per winter) for keeping the road way clear through the winter; something South Stormont had been footing the bill for; partially covered by revenues from Farran Park.
Mr. Dalgleish stated:
There is no economic value to keeping the Parkway open during the winter for the Parks Commission.
Mayor Bryan McGillis said of Mr. Dalgleish:
He talks of a partnership, but there never was a partnership. He has a total disrespect for the community and local business.
Mr. Dalgleish sent in the following statement which are printing in its entirety and unedited.
Regarding the Long Sault Parkway: The Township of South Stormont Council elected to cease its snow plowing operation of the LSP for cost reasons. While I certainly understand the need for fiscal restraint, this decision was made by TSS Council. It is the same fiscal discipline that SLPC must employ to ensure all dollars are spent where budgeted and where the most economic value will be created. SLPC remains open to renewing this agreement with the Township of South Stormont.
SLPC has not provided winter maintenance of this road since 1991. In February of 2000, the Township of South Stormont requested that SLPC permit the road to stay open on the agreed basis that the Township would provide the winter maintenance, and an agreement was formed as such. In April, SLPC received a letter from TSS that they would be discontinuing the activity.
To be clear, the winter maintenance of the LSP and SLPC’s retrieval of Farran Park are mutually exclusive as anyone close to the issues knows. With the Township of South Stormont’s decision to discontinue winter maintenance, SLPC is required to install barriers as a public safety requirement and so as not to expose the Province to undue risk or liability. It remains accessible for snow sports and other types of recreational traffic.
SLPC has engaged in a series of business development efforts aimed at providing good customer value, new product, and economic thrust in the region. The notion that SLPC or the CEO of SLPC doesn’t care about business or the community is laughable. Our approach to business and growth in the community clearly indicates the exact opposite.
We receive tremendous feedback from business between Cornwall and Morrisburg as well as many residents. …but to get a clear picture, one must listen to people and watch.
- The extensive investment in our parks system including the return of Farran Park and the deployment of almost $500k in updates and repairs. Specifically the neglected Electrical Infrastructure required dramatic repair to get to ESA code and thus safe for its guests.
- Free access for everyone to drive the LSP where a gate fee had been charged per person. A fee is only charged if the person plans to stay and use a day use area such as a campground or beach (does this appear ignorant of community interests?)
- 30% reduction in UCV admission price and 60% parking fee reduction. Our postal code data clearly shows that we are getting more local visitors than before, and the total attendance at UCV has increased. We are making our sites more economically available to families and that’s good for everyone.
- And new business and product enrichment items such as the very successful Pumpkinferno that brought over 35,000 people to the area in a few week time span…many of which stayed in the local hotels, ate at restaurants, filled up their gas tanks, and became intimate with the area (So yes we care greatly about our local businesses and they have been vocal with their support) The annual event added 14 seasonal jobs to the area. We had over 36 local business sponsors between Cornwall and Iroquois….(does this appear careless of local business).
- We added new product that drove traffic to the area from Montreal and Ottawa with things like Vintage Biplane rides, Marina expansion.
- Our parks system alone has seen the deployment of over $4m in capital much of which was spent in the South Stormont Township such as upgraded washrooms at camp grounds, rebuilt beaches, addition of state of the art play equipment,
- SLPC is building the entire Parks package to deliver exceptional value with the addition of the reciprocal program where paying guests receive free admission to our other facilities.
This year we are seeing the PGA come to UCGC and the expansion of Pumpkinferno, Alight at Night, a new Food and Gardens festival/Farmers Market at UCV, expansion of the 2 for 1 reciprocal program to include ½ price golf memberships with a Marina slip, more parks and beaches investment and an enormous marketing thrust for the area showcasing SLPC product. Local business will continue to be pleased.
Simply put, we are here as a business, but also to drive economic prosperity to the region….and we are doing it aggressively! I am excited about the growth on the horizon and I encourage everyone to do their part in a positive constructive manner. SLPC will continue with its relationship building with the many municipalities we are in, and I am hopeful and confident all stakeholders in our region will also. I look forward to our ongoing collaboration with South Stormont staff and council.
Mayor McGillis stated that after the frustration of trying to come to terms with Mr. Dalgleish over a new lease and partnership of Farran Park that talks were futile over the Parkway. He stated that there was no offer from Mr. Dalgleish to even pay part of the costs of snow removal; keeping the parkway open; something that Mr. Dalgleish confirmed via phone with this scribbler.
The Long Sault Parkway has thousands of people drive through it each year and is a stunningly under appreciated destination. This scribbler remembers standing in water on what was the old highway with ace videographer Kevin Lamoureux of KAV productions talking about an amazing tourism video we could shoot as it seems so few people know about it.
The Parkway was closed several years ago in the winter until South Stormont came to the public’s aid and kept it open.
It’d be a shame if smarter minds didn’t prevail and some funds from the SLPC could be found to keep it open.
Special thanks to area photographer Calvin Hanson who has taken hundreds of photos of the beautiful vistas of the Long Sault Parkway and area.
What do you think viewers of CFN? You can post your comments below.
I honestly see no reason to keep it cleared for the 3 months we have snow, its opened to ski doo’s , skiers and snowshoers, March to the beginning of dec (at times november) is plenty of time to go driving through to see the sights.
I quite enjoy the parkway in the winter. It is a beautiful drive. I am sad and disappointed that it will not be available to me this year. The parkway is a very beautiful attraction and to not have it available year-round to those who are either physically unable to do outdoor activities or just not inclined to isn’t right.
These pictures alone should make people visit!
Was an actual use study ever done? Perhaps a Farmer or someone with a sleigh & horses could charge for rides on Sunday’s…….Maybe Upper Canada Village can do this, you know, if there is “economic value”.
As Deputy Mayor of South Stormont, I felt it necessary to weigh in on comments made by our Mayor Bryan McGillis in the article above.
Darren Dalgleish is a very smart manager of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. He has done his utmost to be very honest and forthright about his objectives to work in collaboration with our township to help enhance growth and tourism in our local area. Mr Dalgleish has made major improvements to the St. Lawrence Parks. I think it’s wonderful that we along with the Township South Dundas can boast about the infamous Alight at Night of which I am proud to say that my family has visited on numerous occasions. The Pumpkinferno in October is another great success especially for local businesses.
The SLPC have made several improvements to Farran’s park (infrastructure too costly for us to take on). They have reduced admission to the Upper Canada Village. And the most important asset to our community is that the SLPC is one of the biggest employers for our youth in the area and they have assured us that they will continue to do so.
Bottom line is we need to work with the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. A positive relationship is vital. Closing the Long Sault Parkway was a business decision that is no different than running a township when it comes to budgeting and making economic sense. Hard decisions must be made.
I support the SLPC decision.
Keep up the good work Darren. You have my support.
It’s true, there is only so much money in the bank. I enjoy the parkway every season. It pains me to not have access in the winter, and to have to pay in the summer… I have to pay just to drive through….I want to walk in the trails, paint by the river, snowshoe, look out at the water/ice,rollerblade and run without bringing my wallet….ho hum
You DO NOT have to pay anymore to drive through the Long Sault Parkway. That was one of the POSSITIVE changes the SLPC MADE. ITS FREE TO DRIVE THROUGH in the summer. Your only charged for the parks and beaches. Your still welcome to snowshoe, paint and look at the water just no vehicles in the winter. Liability reasons only.
Tammy A Hart, you just reached the highest form of hypocrocy. Just a year ago you were running down the SLPC regarding their signs from Quebec to Kingston. It was said in the media by our Mayor that the SLPC would increase Farran lease to the point where there was little profit left for South Stormont to operrate Farran Park.Then I read that the SLPC sumitted a proposal to South Stormont to work together in a partnership. South stormont council agreed because they wanted to stay involved because they had a big investment in Farran Park. The SLPC Board Members then declined their own proposal SLPC made to South Stormont. Then Dalgleish runs South Stormont OFF Farran Park Property. Tammy A Hart…. South Stormont done an excellent job running Farran Park for over 21 years, long before you were on council. Now you have the nerve to say that the infrastructure was to costly for Township to continue, after our Municipality constructed a main water line to Farran, build many new roads, added many new electrical sites and created a beautiful beach etc. Mayor McGillis stated he also met many times with the SLPC and the board to try to reach an agreement. The Mayor also met with three different Toursim Ministers over the years, with the help of former MPP Jim Brownell asking for assistance from the Ministry. Brownell was removed from the Toursim Ministry because he voiced his concern and disapproval regarding the changes the SLPC made to Upper Canada Village. Tammy, do you know how many seasonal campers left Farran this year since the SLPC kicked out South Stormont? The province has taken this beautiful resource (water Front) from the people, and are now trying to create a business that does not care about YOU or the community. The SLPC spent thousands to Barracade the Long Sault causeway this winter and refused to plow it after the Province spent millions to upgrade the Road throughout the causeway and refurbish the bridge. SLPC spent over a million dollars on the new ticket buildings and paved all the parking lot in and around just inside the parkway. Not one person worked in the new ticket buildings last season. The Parks spent big bucks revamping the old cafe at Mille Roche Beach which was a total failure. Many campers were broken into at Farran Park because of the lack of security which never was a problem under the Townships control. Since the SLPC took over, the weeds grow along the bike path which South Stormont kept beautiful. Residents continue to complain about the grass not being cut Where South Stormont done a excellent Job in the past two decades. To add insult to injury, Mr.Dalgleish wanted all the equipment South Stormont bought for the park over the years, and last years Park profit. Ya right Tammy…. Dalgleish is a smart manager? Are you for real? You are trying to discredit and back stab our good hard working Mayor. You try to convince us that it is vital to have a great working relationship with Dalgleish whom you now support?…..Are you serious? What is your motive? I think it is vital that YOU should start a positive working relationship with your own Mayor,Council and staff. On second thought….the hole is probably to deep to climb out of. Thank God the rest of council work good together for the community.You are an embarrasment to the good people of South Stormont. Keep Talking Tammy A Hart.
I wont be as negative and insulting as you JOE KNOWS. What I will say is that we need to work with the SLPC, they need us and we need them. Having your attitude makes matters worse.
We need to move forward, the past is the past. Lets work together. I think our businesses want cohesiveness in order to progess and survive. 🙂
Gee and I thought I got along well with rest of council. Where are you getting your information…hmmmm…I wonder?
We are not talking about businesses here, Tammy. We are talking about a provincial organization that gave South Stormont the boot.You now are stating you are in support of it.????? I get most of my information from reading and listening. You criticise everything. Almost very comment from you is totally negitive. I have a bag full of news clippings to prove it. Bad mouthing your boss on here is not a good example of getting along with your colleages as you think. You have a lot to learn about working as a team. The public need to know and I have no problem stating it. Happy New Year everyone at Cornwall Free News. Great internet paper. Keep up the good work keeping the public informed.
The SLPC have not been perfect and yes there has been disagreements. BUT, its time to move on.
Joe knows….sounds more like you,ve been kissing the blarney stone.Keep up the great work Tammy.Park is already available all winter to snowmobiles,snowshoes & skiers.
Joe Knows, there is an article already on CFN regarding the SLPC new signs. The general understanding was the upper left placement of French wording goes against majority language criteria, which is used and guides our federal government to show majority language by province. Not to fan your flames, however, please make paragraphs your friend.
Sounds like your kissing Tammy’s blarney. Good work you say? I will give you some characteristics of someone who is not a team player that will likely mean nothing to you. Everything I said was in the media. The causeway is available only because of people like me who made many complaints about the barricades that Dalgleish had placed which costs thousands to erect. what a good manager this Dalgliesh is Tammy says. More facts for you Mariah. If you are unable to spot an undesirable team member, that employee can corrupt or poison the team environment. Someone who is not a team player may exhibit an inability to deal with conflict with other team members. She may also procrastinate, blame others for her mistakes, have poor communication skills, and not want to improve, set an inappropriate example for other team members and speak to other team members individually to try to get them on their side. Keep us the good work Tammy…..lol
Can’t please everyone 🙂
At least you get it. The Long Sault Parkway never use to be open during the winter months. At a cost of between $15,000-$25,000 as stated, it plainly makes economical sense to keep it closed. One can still snow shoe, ski, snowmobile and so on.
Exactly Tammy,it all boils down to common sense & saving money,keep up the good work…Like you said ,can,t please everybody
Joe Knows, exactly why do you need it open at extra cost when it already fills the needs of many with Winter activities such as snowshoes,ski,& snowmobiles
Either one of you get it. You being Deputy Mayor of South Stormont should know that the Parkway was open every winter since the year 2000 by South Stormont Roads Department.
Two years ago the parkway was not open during the winter in that time was due to the bridge condition. FYI
Wonderful to learn that we can take advantage of the parkway for FREE. I was naturally frustrated!
Joe…..You still have not answered my question,exactly why do you need it open at extra cost when it already fills the needs of many with Winter activities such as snowshoes,ski,& snowmobiles
As always there is only one taxpayer. Seems to this reader that responsible decisions have been made. The same taxpayer that is no longer burdened with keeping the road open is the one that would pay albeit a different level of bureaucracy to reopen it. Would that make any sense ? If in fact there was any economic benefit in keeping the parkway open then let the businesses that would stand to gain cover the costs and liability. Or have South Stormont manage an account that individual citizens so inclined could donate to a year in advance so that maintenance costs are fully covered. Alternately move on to more urgent and pressing business.