Council walks back its previous decision on Morrisburg waterfront barriers

SOUTH DUNDAS – Council reconsidered its June 1st decision to block vehicular access to portions of the Morrisburg waterfront.

South Dundas councillor Donald Lewis asked council to reconsider its decision and council agreed to revisit the issue at the June 15th meeting.

“I had a lot of people complaining to me, saying that we as a council made a poor decision,” said Lewis.

The outcome of this week’s discussion was different than last time with the majority of council directing staff to hold off until next year to block access.

“We shouldn’t put up barriers until a new lot is built. I think we should change our decision,” said Lewis.

Danielle Watson, South Dundas’ director of environmental services said that staff’s opinion is that the municipality is liable and it’s about public safety.

“I think we’re being too quick to put up barricades down there,” said South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner who would change her decision on this matter.

“I think we need to address the parking and give clear alternatives for people before we take this away,” she said adding that they should be able to come up with a viable solution.

“I’m not saying no to the barriers forever, I’m just saying that it’s premature to block it off completely before we give people an alternative.”

South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan said that he would not be changing his decision.

“We have to take public safety into consideration. It’s just an accident waiting to happen.”

Councillor Lloyd Wells agreed with Mellan.

“I can’t agree with letting people drive out there,” he said adding that the Docksyde, the washrooms, the people and vehicles are not a good mix for that area.

Although he would not change his decision, he did say that at his next meeting with the Morrisburg Waterfront Committee he would suggest a new parking lot off of Cruickshank Way to allow people to sit in their cars and view the river.

Leaving the mayor to split the tie, Byvelds agreed to reverse the previous decision and not barricade the waterfront.

He suggested that the waterfront committee should make addressing the parking situation with its planned new lot its immediate top priority.

Staff were directed to go ahead with some walking path bollards, but not the larger barricades for this year.

They were asked to come up with a better, more congruent plan for parking next year.

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