County rejects any help to businesses suffering losses from Port Dover Main St. construction

PROBLEMS with Port Dover’s downtown reconstruction project were brought to the attention of Norfolk Council at its May  23 meeting … by both Councillors John Wells and Noel Haydt.
Councillor Wells began his comments by congratulating the staff for the overall undertaking, describing it “as a good investment” agreeing it will be a major benefit to Port Dover when it is completed.
He then added “but sometimes good things bring bad things.”
Coun. Wells informed the meeting that some merchants have told him of the severe loss of business they have suffered, both with Phase 2 last year in lower Main Street and again in this year’s Phase 3, intimating to the councillors that the severe loss of at least one merchant may force closure of that business.
A merchant asked Councillor Wells if Norfolk Council could help them financially for the loss of business because of road work and street closures. The councillor asked council for a policy statement regarding helping merchants to pay their bills under these circumstances.
The reply to his enquire was quick and probably expected. The answer was handled by Mayor Charlie Luke, supported by staff, that Norfolk County has never provided money for private businesses. To answer Councillor Wells’ follow-up question the answer was also negative, “council has never provided financial loans to private businesses.”
Councillor Wells informed the meeting that there had recently been another accident on St. Andrew Street, saying “people think it is a speedway. I know that this is a police problem,” but he added people know that Norfolk County is doing the road work which is causing increased traffic along St. Andrew Street “which is much narrower than Main Street.”
Councillor Noel Haydt serving the Port Rowan area (Ward 1) said he frequently visits Port Dover (saying it is one of his favorite places) and commented on the downtown reconstruction.
“Port Dover is having a bit of a dilemma and I don’t know who is to blame,” said Coun. Haydt.
He faulted the sidewalk design of last year’s Phase 2 that swings out at intersections calling it “poor planning, worst design I’ve ever seen” also asking “how many parking spaces were lost from previous years?’ General Manager Lee Robinson of Public Works replied there are only four less parking spaces in Phase 2 (2016) than previously.
Councillor Haydt faulted the installed Norfolk’s signs in the street reconstruction area, saying he had tested everyone (by shaking them) and only one was not loose. Ms Robinson stated she would have staff check the specifications for sign installation. The Port Rowan councillor also observed on Port Dover’s Main Street, “there are (large) holes in the sidewalk I hope we get some trees in there.”

Posted: May 31, 2017

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