Another fascinating maneuver at tonight’s City Council meeting involved the South/Route 47/Fair/Calhoun Project. You know this one; right?
This started out as the side road from South Street to McConnell Road behind the old Jewel, DeCraene’s, Vaughan’s and on down to Larry Piekos’ Cycle Craft. I remember the show-and-tell by Public Works about four-six years ago. No one asked how much the project was going to cost until the end of the meeting, when I asked the question about the “elephant in the room.” The cost? $5.5 Million. PLUS the cost of land acquisition! For what? For a ¾-mile road with a center lane and sidewalks. Whatta dream!
The topic tonight was the repriortization of the Project. The owners of the buildings that house Harmony Falls Massage Therapy and Swanky Spa were there to complain about condemnation notices they had received.
The project is now dead in the water. Not totally dead – the Woodstock City Council doesn’t want to kill off anything. All it will take is lots of money to bring it back to life, and lots of money is something the City of Woodstock doesn’t have.
Both owners were assured that condemnation proceedings would be halted tomorrow by City staff and the City Attorney.
Should property owners be entitled to compensation for their expenses to protect their property rights? You bet! Will they have to fight for it? You bet!