To the Editor,
Neighbourhoods - I would venture to suggest that they are the backbone of our Canadian culture. The City of Toronto has made an effort to preserve them with their neighbourhood street signs, and the various outdoor rinks, and the parks dotted over the cityscape. Meanwhile here in Uxbridge and in Scugog, the prevailing attitude in the minds of those in authority (supported by The Standard's editorial) seems to be, "Let them come to Town and use the facilities provided in our urban centre. That's where their tax money is going." I cite two items reported in last week's edition (Feb. 26) of your newspaper.
At a public meeting in Seagrave it was revealed that the Coryell St. park and structures had been built and maintained over the years by volunteers using their own materials, time and money. But after amalgamation, Scugog Township took over the maintenance (which apparently doesn't measure up to the previous care) and now the community is plagued with prohibitive fees and permits in order to use their own facility.
At Uxbridge Township Council's last budget meeting Mayor O'Connor lamented the fact that next year's budget would be even tougher to manage and the municipality might have to sell off excess parkland, and properties such as the halls in Siloam and Goodwood, to keep costs down. Our historic hall in Goodwood presently rests in the capable hands of the local Lions Club which pays for hydro, heat and incidental repairs at no cost to the taxpayers, yet every year Council makes noises about selling the building to cut costs It must be discouraging and frustrating for the Lions when they discuss spending their own funds on building improvements, when the threat of having the structure snatched out from under them, looms overhead every year at municipal budget time.
Seagrave residents disbanded their park board in disgust. Who could blame the Goodwood Lions if they threw in the towel as well? In Uxbridge, as I am sure in Scugog also, we bemoan the fact that the pool of community volunteers seems to be shrinking more and more every year. Local governments should be doing what they can to support and encourage neighbourhood endeavours instead of throwing obstacles in their paths every step of the way.
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