We know that our readers sometimes consider us too negative but it is hard to be positive when we see so much wrong happening in our town. [Councillors, when we start being positive about something you will know you are really on to something, but we digress]. We would love to be positive about an investment in our town, even if it is from ACOA which has a history- we think- of putting good money after bad. But we see what this money is being invested in and cry. A facelift.
The project includes improvements to Wolfville’s Central Ave. and Main St., including façade and signage enhancements, public space development, a branding strategy and creation of a downtown wireless network.
In addition to ACOA’s $212,500 investment, the province is also contributing $50,000 to the project through the Department of Economic and Rural Development.
Doesn’t that say it all about Wolfville. Scratch the veneer and what do you see? Pressboard not mahogany. You know, we wouldn’t mind so much if our taxes- municipal, provincial and federal- were being spent on good solid construction that would last, like some of our heritage homes . Instead what do we get? A new facade while underneath the foundations and drain/sewage systems along and under Main street are crumbling along with the pavement.
But isn’t it worth it in the short term, some will say, if it brings tourism and business to the town?
Enhancing Wolfville’s downtown core will not only add value to its businesses, but will further draw visitors to the region, creating important economic spin offs and prosperity for this community,” said Kings South MLA, David Morse.
Morse added the funds will “renew our heritage and charm that makes Wolfville so unique.”
That is what they will tell us and some will believe it, but will it be measured and how will we know? Will someone,beside us, be monitoring how many businesses start up and STAY and DO WELL [instead of closing in a year or too because taxes were too high, because of too many break ins, or frustration with the rotten infrastructure]? Will they be counting the tourists and seeing an uptick? What WE say is take care of the fundamentals and businesses and residents will come and stay and prosper and invest in the town themselves to provide the “charm” . This is how Wolfville built its “charm” in its beginnings. Solidly from firm foundations. Sadly we see this no longer.
Like branding, this strategy is skin deep.
Later: Brian Sanderson has some comment too. Take a look!