The centre island on downtown Georgetown's Main Street will stay. Halton Hills council voted 10-1 in favour Tuesday of a design that includes retaining the island, although a significantly narrower one than exists now, when the road between Church and George Sts. is reconstructed early next year. The inclusion of the island (four-feet wide instead of the current eight-feet) is a compromise after the Town received several opinions on the island from the public and the downtown business community-- many who wanted it to stay, and many who didn't. Last month the Georgetown Business Improvement Area (BIA) said, since support for keeping the island was split amongst its members and the majority of the public wanted it to stay, it supported retaining the island, but making it narrower so the sidewalks could also be widened. Most council members agreed. "I think that is a solution that's going to make a lot of people happy," said Wards 3/4 Regional Councillor Jane Fogal. Ward 3 Councillor Moya Johnson said she was glad the island was going to be retained. "The vast majority of people who spoke to me were in favour of keeping the island," said Johnson. "I think the light standards down the middle really do add something to the look of the town," said Johnson. Ward 2 Councillor Mike Davis didn't support the inclusion of the centre median. "I think we would be better to not have the median, with that expanded sidewalk for the merchants down there, for the farmers market, for sidewalk sales and for safety as well," said Davis. He said the public "should really have a second look at this whole idea of the medians" and provide further comment. Fogal stressed, however, the consultation period on the island was over. "Once this report is passed, the island issue is off the table," said Fogal. Davis asked for a recorded vote on the staff report supporting the inclusion of the island in the road design. All council members, except for Davis, supported it. Last Wednesday, Chris Mills, the Town's Manager of Development Engineering, said the approved design for the $1.2 million Main St. project "meets a little bit of everybody's needs." He said the sidewalks on both sides of Main St. will be two feet wider, and a "key part of the design" is the inclusion of wider bump-outs or activity nodes at the intersections. At those locations the sidewalk will jut out almost seven ft. into the parking area on the street, as parking isn't allowed there anyway. Mills explained those areas will be where the "street furniture," such as newspaper boxes, garbage cans, benches, and trees, etc. can be placed, leaving the sidewalk area more open. He said, under the design for the street, there will still be trees and light standards in the centre island. The roadwork will include the replacement of storm sewers, catch basins, water mains and sanitary sewers and the installation of new pavement. Town staff has to finalize the road design, then focus on the landscaping and decorative components of the work to be done. He said over the next couple of weeks the Town intends to set up on its website (www.haltonhills.ca) an information section on the Main St. project so area residents can be kept informed on its status, and look at drawings of the design
Town council voted 10-1 in favour last week of retaining the Main Street median in downtown Georgetown, however, the new island will be significantly narrower. Georgetown BIA members were split over the issue while most members of the public supported keeping the island which has been a fixture in the downtown for decades.