Pat Vetter remarks at Almonte Old Town Hall meeting re Enerdu Dam project

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Almonte / Mississippi Mills is a tourist destination for people from everywhere else to come for an afternoon, or a day, or a weekend, or a week.

What draws people to spend time in our town of Almonte is the Mississippi River and its water falls. Visitors to our Town enjoy walking by the river, listening to the sounds and seeing the water falls. This summer, are they going to hear the sound of the falls or the loons? Or will they will hear the hoe ram, a high power drill that is loud and noisy! This noise will carry up and down the river. It can legally run from 7 am to 7 pm – 6 days a week.

When I attended the planning board meeting at the Town Office on March 20, the developer acknowledged that if there were problems encountered in the digging, that the time period might have to be extended throughout the summer, and possibly even carried over to into the next summer season. If this happens, this would be 3 months this year and 3 months next year.

During the time in which this proposed excavation and construction take place, tourists will feel no urgent desire to visit the stores and restaurants or walk along our ‘Riverwalk’ or take in the many annual summer events, planned for the downtown area, such as the ‘Agriculture Fair’, ‘Puppets Up’, ‘Celtic Fest’ and the ‘Highland Games’. The noise will also affect the businesses that are on and near the river itself, such as the Barley Mow, Heirloom Café, the B&B’S AND The Textile Museum.

Our Downtown has recently revitalized and is full of small businesses again who are growing their businesses. Tourists are needed for these businesses to stay strong and viable. We want and need to keep this momentum growing. Can we afford to lose a season?

The money to be earned by this project is going into Jeff Cavanagh’s pocket, not into our town of Almonte. WHAT GOOD IS THAT to our town, the merchants and our people?

Why should we accept the loss of business for a season if there is no gain to the town?

Unless the service is going to bring increased revenue into our town, surely this construction and destruction should not take place.