The Town of Hawkesbury is planning to replace the trees along Main Street in the downtown area and purchase new Christmas decorations this year.

Town council has applied for a grant from the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative program to help cover the cost of the downtown improvement project. The program from the Community Foundations of Canada offers a total of $31 million to projects across the country worth between $5,000 and $250,000.

On March 8, council approved the submission of an application for a grant of $87,595, which will cover the entire cost of the downtown project.  The existing trees along Main Street have reached maturity and the Christmas decorations are becoming outdated.  The town is also looking to beautify the downtown area for summer events on Main Street, with physical distancing of course.

Plans to replace the trees in the downtown area result from the ‘La Fondation des Rues Principales’ study done in 2016. The study recommendations listed replacement of the trees as a priority.

While council was discussing the grant application, Councillor Yves Paquette commented that he has noticed many vehicles parked along Main Street in Hawkesbury’s downtown core during the entire day.

Councillor Lawrence Bogue said there is an issue with employees of various downtown businesses parking their cars along the street while they are at work.  He suggested a two-hour limit be introduced for parking on Main Street.

“We have lots of parking in Hawkesbury in other private lots,” Bogue noted.

Councillor Antonios Tsourounakis said that he supports having a two-hour limit to discourage employees from parking on the street while they are at work.

“You don’t really want them to park where clients are supposed to be,” Tsourounakis pointed out.

Council agreed to discuss the idea of a two-hour limit on downtown street parking at the next Committee of the Whole meeting.

Council also decided to exclude new garbage cans, bicycle racks, and benches for the downtown area from the grant application.

Mayor Paula Assaly, Tsourounakis, and Councillor Robert Lefebvre each stated the purchase and installation of  those objects could instead be part of a separate grant application in the future.