Trails, traffic part of open house in Essex Centre

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WardOneMeetingby Fred Groves

There are four distinct communities within the Municipality of Essex, and while there is a blanket approach available to govern, each have their own challenges.

On the evening of Tuesday, May 30th, a dozen residents along with town staff and Council members, met for an informal discussion about Essex Centre.

Inside the Shaheen Community Room at the Essex Centre Sports Complex, veteran Councillor Randy Voakes listened to several questions that included flooding, traffic, and recreation.
Voakes and Steve Bjorkman represent the taxpayers of Ward 1 (Essex Centre). While Bjorkman could not attend due to health reasons, he did offer a message.

“Our intention is to let you know where we are with ongoing projects and developments in the Town but mostly to hear from you,” he stated.

One question raised Tuesday was about flooding, which, according to Voakes and Director of Infrastructure Chris Nepszy, is being rectified.

“As political leaders in the Town of Essex, that was hellish for us. Chris and his team picked up the pieces and carried it through,” Voakes said.

While there was praise for the numerous parks in Town, including the one for toddlers near the municipal building, connecting existing trails seems to be a concern.

That includes the area between the Heritage Gardens Park and the train station and Sadler’s Pond. A large portion of the former railroad is still not completed.

“We are limited with expenditures, we’ve had discussion about it,” Voakes said.

Another topic of discussion that involved not only the public, but Council and Town administration, was the corner of Maidstone Avenue and Arthur and having connecting link to Gosfield Townline.

“That intersection has a history of accidents. It’s only a matter of time before good luck runs out,” Voakes said.

Nepszy seemed to have a different opinion, noting that while there has been near misses at that intersection, there has been know accidents in at least 10 years.

“That’s part of the problem in moving forward,” he said.

The Spring Constituent Open Houses were also held in Colchester, Harrow, and McGregor with Council reps of those wards.