One High Street resident says she has had enough. The construction situation which began last year as part of water main replacement and storm and sanitary sewage improvements is in year two and Rebecca Clement says something is not right. The job is taking too long and it feels like chaos, for which no one is accountable, according to Clement.
“It has been unbearable: the dust and the dirt and the noise,” she says, adding that crews have excavated in front of her home six times.
Residents were living with the restraints of a boil-water advisory for months, she says. At the end of the day, Clement feels that residents who put up with the inconvenience of the boil-water advisory, lack of access to their homes, the dust, the noise and the idling traffic, should be compensated.
“I have called the municipality a few times and was told that I had to be patient, that this was progress and that everyone is going through it,” Clement said.
But everyone isn’t going through it, she says. Adding to the irritation has been the lack of information forthcoming from anyone. The only notification she recalls receiving is the notification about the boil-water advisory, and that came from the municipality.
“I went out one day and came back a half-hour later and my whole front yard was dug up,” she says. She is also affronted by the damage to plants and a hedge in her front yard that has not been repaired. Pointing to three manhole covers in the corner of her small front yard, she says they have been there all summer.
She says that she turns around in her yard to avoid backing onto the street; she has to drive slowly over the temporary gravel at the curbs where her driveway is and says there just isn’t room to back out, without impinging on two lanes of traffic.
She says that she and other residents have not been able to open their windows because of the dust for two summers now and that she herself has worn out about 7 fans; she doesn’t use air conditioning indoors. In addition to the dust, slow-moving traffic or traffic line-ups meant that the smell of exhaust fumes was a constant.
“I hose down the front of my house at night,” she says, in an effort to reduce the dust.
“It feels like complaints are not heard and that one isn’t supposed to complain. I was only informed in the morning that we had to move our cars right away or we would not be able to get them out later,” she recalls.
Clement says she feels disrespected as a taxpayer, that no one is accepting responsibility for the project and that everyone is blaming everyone else for the delays.
Clement says she loves the community and is speaking up because someone has to.
“I know other people have contacted the township, but enough is enough,” says Clement. “I think that in exchange for our property taxes, we should expect a decent standard of living and fair rendering of services and we are in our second year of not enjoying either of those things,” she argues.
The grand-daughter of Osie Villeneuve says she learned from her grandfather, whose political career as a local MP and MPP spanned more than four decades, the importance of communicating with people, even when it was unwelcome news.
“It is as if there is no compassion,” she ended.
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