by Brent Eades
As reported earlier in the Millstone, Town Council last month appeared to backtrack on its previous unanimous decision to proceed with a study into how downtown Almonte and the riverfront might be designated as a Heritage Conservation District. This would help protect those areas from development that would damage Almonte’s renowned heritage reputation.
But when Council was called upon to approve the awarding of the contract to the winning bidder at its November 19 meeting some members seemed to balk, citing concerns about the “prudent use of public funds.” Councillor John Edwards, who tabled the original motion, finally arranged for its deferral until tomorrow evening’s Council meeting.
The revised motion now calls for the funding of an initial public meeting, at a cost of $1,250, meant to “gauge public interest” in a heritage designation for our town. If that support is strong, Council would proceed with the rest of the study.
Over 40 communities across Ontario — including our neighbours Perth and Arnprior — have successfully applied for Heritage Conservation status since the program began in the early 1980s. As previously reported, the economic and lifestyle benefits accruing from the designation are typically substantial.
If you think this is the right course for our town to follow, make sure you turn out for tomorrow’s meeting to show your support. Tuesday December 10, 5:oo pm, at Council Chambers.