Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Median petition fails to sway councillors
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 23 Aug 2006, p. 3

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Despite yet another attempt by a resident to delay the Main St. reconstruction project in Georgetown, Halton Hills council remained firm in its commitment to the project last Monday night. This was the second time David Harley addressed council about the project-- he had first done so when the project was officially approved in June. The current eight-foot wide median will be reduced to four feet wide when Main St., from Church St. to George St. is reconstructed next year at a cost of $1.2 million. Sidewalks will be widened and other beautification features added to the downtown street. In the 106 comments received from the public, 64 (60%) voted to retain the island, 36 (34%) voted to remove it and widen the sidewalk and six (6%) had no opinion. Council decided on a compromise-- a smaller median but wider sidewalks. Harley, who views the process leading to the council decision as "unfair", presented a 200-name petition he had compiled over the last couple of weeks in downtown Georgetown. It calls on council to rescind it decision and opt instead for the median removal. Harley said council based its decision on the opinions of 64 people who "live outside the parameters" (the downtown area) instead of the opinion of staff and the consultant which recommended the removal of the eight-foot wide median. Harley himself lives in Ward 4 with the downtown being in Ward 3. But his petition came under fire from Ward 2 Councillor Bryan Lewis, who pointed out that some of the names on the petition had possible out-of-town telephone numbers and that Harley had prefaced his remarks by saying he had talked about issues with visitors from Erin and Montreal. Harley said all the people on the petition are residents of Halton Hills, but acknowledged, "There's a possibility of some names slipping through on that. No document is perfect." Director of Engineering, Public Works and Building Rick Henry said the project's timing would be placed in jeopardy if there were a deferral of any kind. He said the Town has made a commitment to the Georgetown BIA to begin the project next January so that it would be completed before the next Farmers' Market season begins. Henry will present to council a report on pre-budget approval in September. A delay would push the project back for another year, he said. Council voted to receive the petition and distribute it to councillors for their perusal. No other action was taken. "I respect what Mr. Harley tried to do," said Mayor Rick Bonnette. "Yes, there are some people in downtown who don't want it (the median)-- even the BIA was split-- but we came up with a compromise and I've received e-mails from people happy with the compromise and I haven't had anyone (except Harley) that was disappointed that we did come up with the compromise. I think we have to move forward." Ward 3 Councillor Mike Davis, who in June voted against the council decision and wanted the decision deferred, wanted it on the record that he did not assist Harley with his petition. The Town intends to set up a section on its website, www.haltonhills.ca, on the Main St. project so area residents can be kept informed on its status and look at the

Town council accepted a petition from local resident Dave Harley who wants the median in downtown Georgetown removed but didn't reopen discussion on the matter. The median will be reduced in size during reconstruction next year.

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23 Aug 2006
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Henry, Rick
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Median petition fails to sway councillors