To The Editor,

When I first decided to run for councillor, Champlain Township, Ward 4, I knew that I would be asked the hard questions and I knew that I was prepared to ask hard ones of my own.  Considering this, and given that part of my platform was to “provide an environment where our businesses can thrive and grow,” it would be remiss of me not to address the issue of Tims coming to town.

Aside from the tax benefits of this move, I can see other issues that should be addressed and hopefully will be addressed.  What will be the effect on the town businesses  that already specialize in the sale of food items? In a conversation with a restaurant owner in Alfred, he noted that Tims of Alfred had not only affected their business but he feels that the closure of a local bakery and coffee shop were a direct result of having a Tims in his community. I can foresee this happening in our community. He also mentioned that a candidate for mayor of his community, as part of his platform, is wanting to introduce measures that speak to this issue.

Another consideration: what will be the cost for taxpayers for the improvements that will have to be made to accommodate this business? Also to be  considered is that Vankleek Hill, rightfully so, markets itself  as a quaint village to visit, a respite from city life. Do we need a Tims in Vankleek Hill that clogs up Highway 34, as is often the case on Highway 34 in Hawkesbury?

I welcome feedback on this issue from present councillors and those running for mayor and councillors in  the upcoming election.

Jim Caputo, Champlain Township