Village Green is a dynamic evolving project
Thank you for providing the opportunity to respond to the letter published August 23 commenting on the proposed Village Green by Peter Lomath, whom I have noticed is a frequent writer to your paper over the years.
Letters of this sort are a true measure of democracy as everyone has a right to express their opinion. However, I respectfully suggest that Mr. Lomath read and study the Creemore Village Green website a little more carefully (www.creemorevillagegreen.ca) – note the requests of all of the various groups, observe how they were integrated into initial concept and observe changes made since then.
The Village Green is a dynamic evolving project which is still being developed and I suspect will be greatly modified to reflect the Creemore spirit.
I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Lomath’s suggestion in the second paragraph of his letter: “If Caroline/Library streets did not split the current green space into quarters, around the Library and the Station on the Green, Creemore would have an almost perfect village green that included the memorial to our fallen warriors and lots of grass for children to play.” This physical amalgamation of spaces would be wonderful. Perhaps a more conservative plan would be to close off the section of Caroline Street in front of the Station on the Green and merge with cenotaph, but leave diagonal road open to the south to traffic so businesses and residents can access their properties. There is no need to maintain two roads around the cenotaph.
By all definitions, this plan is a village green. Most countries have designated town centres where people can gather. These centres come in all shapes and sizes… some with grass, some with hardscape. The proposed Green is responding to suggestions made by numerous groups including the Hort Society which has the greatest accommodation to make in implementing any new plan whether it be the current concept or another plan.
The new proposed plans call for more plants and flowers than exist in the current garden. All of the existing plants will be relocated to behind the library for the construction process. This is not a plan with just paths and trees as interpreted/stated by Mr. Lomath.
The new design incorporates many quiet sitting places similar in number to what the current park provides. There will be no locks on the gates as in the many gardens in London used for residents only.
The Village Green is not a commercial centre being paid for by the taxpayers. The only commercial aspect might be the stage requested in the planning meetings or temporary market stalls for some of the sponsored events or activities.
The Toronto Dominion Bank is making a gift to the community that it has served. Reality is that the current banking activities are either mainly on-line or in larger centres and so the decision was made to close the Creemore bank. The Bank has accommodated the community by installing a bank machine. Hopefully the machine will be relocated from its current trial position. This gift gesture is not a crass tax write-off for the bank – they could sell the building and pocket the savings by not making a gift. This is a really generous gesture made by the bank to the community of Creemore.
The mandate of the whole project is to bring together diverse constituencies within the community: local and townships, farmers, seniors, business owners, artists and weekenders by providing a recognized dynamic active Village Green. I think a good planning start has been made and design improvements are being actively worked on as suggestions arrive. It is wonderful to see so many people working on a project that benefits all of the community without a direct cost to the taxpayer. This is a win-win project for Creemore… a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that not many small towns are offered. Perhaps Mr. Lomath could work on the amalgamation plan. Let’s continue to work together to get it right.