by Geoff Baskwill
Town councillors met last night to review the the report from Town staff regarding the proposed closure of the eastern portion of Stephen Street and the proposed sale and transfer of the land to the Upper Canada District School Board.  This proposal was an initiative suggested by the Transition Committee for the Almonte District High School during the transition of the school to the Grade 7-12 model.  The closure will give students more green space, will move vehicle traffic out of the area between the school and the main field, and will improve student safety by moving the bus loading area off Stephen Street and Martin Street.
There was much debate regarding details of the proposal, including emergency access and bus routing.  After discussion, the recommendation was accepted by the Committee of the Whole and later by Town Council with a minor change to allow staff to include leasing of the land as an option.  Both votes were recorded with ten votes in favour and one vote against.
This decision by Council clears the way for the project to move into a more detailed planning process.