© Guardian photo by Steve Sharratt
FILE PHOTO: Owner Robert Jay enjoys the vista of the marina and waterfront in Montague from the balcony of his new Riverhouse Inn.
Business people, health professionals, former leadership candidate implore town to step up to plate
MONTAGUE – A delegation requesting the town of Montague reconsider intentions to leave the Three Rivers regional municipality talks delivered a number of messages of appeal Monday night.
Business people, health professionals and even a former Liberal leadership candidate turned out at town hall to implore the town to step up to the plate and discuss the future of creating a new regional municipality with six other communities.
The town opted to drop out last week and said it preferred a boundary expansion reflecting the current Montague fire district.
“People make up a town, not where they sleep,’’ said businessman and hotel owner Robert Jay. “I’m not here to criticize or disparage council, just to ask them to give it a try….not showing up to these talks is not the answer.”
Discussions and public input meetings are being planned by the remaining six communities who plan to forge ahead with the Three Rivers concept which would see Georgetown, Cardigan, Lorne Valley, Brudenell, Valleyfield and Lower Montague create a municipality of 8,000 people.
“They’re tuning up the fiddles on this and we should at least go to the dance,’’ said Larry Creed, the “beans and baloney” candidate who once ran for the Liberal leadership against Catherine Callbeck in 1993. “I commend you on your work, but I believe we will miss out on a new direction .... The outlying areas all combined only strengthen our region and I urge you to be part of the discussion.”
We should at least go to the dance! Former Liberal leadership candidate Larry Creed
Health professional and small business owner Karen Peardon told council the region must work as a team to grow and attract new families.
“Please go back to the table and hear the project out,’’ she said.
A recently released report, posted online at both town hall websites, outlines the pros and cons of amalgamating and recommends seven communities maintain their own identities but form the regional municipality of Three Rivers. The region would see gas tax revenues double, access to more available funding options and establish a fair taxation rate based on services and where you live.
Former mayor Merrill Scott said Three Rivers is like a puzzle, and every piece is needed to make an even greater municipality.
“This puzzle has it all for residents and tourists alike, and you can’t complete this puzzle without Georgetown and all the other communities,’’ said Scott noting that the Kings County capital is rapidly moving forward to bring mini cruise ships to its port that will benefit the entire area.
“Montague should be at the table,” said former mayor Pat McGowan. “Make your decision based on the outcome of the discussions.”
The presentations were made, but council offered no comment on the status of those requests at this time.