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Vote on walking path areas the next step in settling longstanding problem

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A process initiated under the previous council to see several walking paths closed in the community is set to have steps made to either proceed with the closures or put a potential hurdle in the way.
Walking paths that connect areas between Trager Drive, Cudmore Crescent and Rotary Park have been called for closure by residents in the area, many of whom cite damage to property, theft, drug use and other problems fueled by the presence of the paths.
The request has come forward in the past but was renewed again approximately a year ago with residents filing a petition with the Town to have them closed. The issue has largely been on hold while the Town developed a policy for such closures and that policy has called for the current phase of the situation; a mailed-out survey to residents within a 100 metre radius of each path. Residential properties get one vote per property to state whether or not they approved of the closure, with a minimum of 75 per cent support for the paths’ closure to be found. Below that level and the path would stay open.
The deadline for the review is November 30, something Mayor Herb Jaques stated he was unaware was happening. Jaques acknowledged that it was a process put in place by the previous council and called on the current council to let it “play out” before acting.
Of note, Councillor Andre Murphy was one of the individuals who spearheaded a request to see the paths closed and he expressed concern over the survey, noting even if a residence didn’t have a vote supplied it would still be counted into the overall percentage, something he felt doomed the potential for the vote to support a closure.
“It might be a potential conflict so I’ll just state what the concerns of the others are is that having to make it mandatory every resident actually sends in a vote of support and if you don’t vote it’s still counted as a percentage, you can more or less say it’ll never (pass), it’ll never do that. Just in the logistics of saying every single person that lives in this thing has to turn in a vote, and if they don’t, they are considered in the numbers of the overall vote, it’s not realistic,” said Murphy.
Both Murphy and fellow councilor Chad Zolinski live within the 100 metre radius -Murphy resides directly adjacent to one of the paths- yet both indicated they did not receive a survey from the Town.
The discussion on the topic will resume once the results of the survey are known.

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Trent Allen
EDITOR
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