A good buy

News this week that Centre Well­ington Township will be purchasing Templin Gardens is great News indeed.

The uninitiated might suspect that the town has always owned the site along the banks of the Grand River just off the main street, but it was actually leased under a long term agreement.

Now that Centre Wellington has secured it along with other lands in and around the river, generations can enjoy that wise move.

We have never shied away from opportunities or endorsing the purchase of land by municipalities, particularly in the downtown or along natural waterways. Arguably, councils who choose to abandon land for a quick buck or take a pass on property offered to it, do a great disservice to future citizens.

We believe this purchase will be embraced by residents and downtown businesses alike. This significant investment leads to a larger issue.

Across this province, downtown business operators and property owners all seem to be looking for the magic bullet for prosperity. The purchase of land is a start, but without a further plan to incorporate that land into a larger strategy, it can become simply another derelict property to keep up.

A plan is needed and in speaking with members of the local BIA, we believe there is interest in developing a strategy that would see downtown Fergus become a people place, rather than just a place where people go to do business. This very public space is open to all and should be enjoyed.

Smart moves like the Templin Gardens purchase certainly move the idea along nicely.

Brutus update

Councillor Lou Maieron is on his way again to court, dealing with a migratory bird named Brutus who likes living at Lou’s property.

The Ministry of Natural Resources continues to pursue Maieron, having made five court appearances and numerous visits to the Maieron property, culminating in hundreds of pages of documents for a grandiose court case.

Although Maieron admits to caging Brutus in the past, that was only a means to protect his fish operation, which happens to be his livelihood. Apart from that time or two or three, he claims Brutus is free to come and go as he pleases.

Getting to court will take some time and the cost to citizens to prosecute this case is considerable. It seems like overkill to us.