Families, finances, and future construction in Hudson
PHOTO BY NICK ZACHARIAS
A new skating oval behind Hudson’s St. Thomas school allows users to traverse the entire soccer field.
The February 3 meeting of the Hudson Town Council, headed by Mayor Jamie Nicholls who is now back from a two month absence, saw forward momentum on the development of a mixed multi-unit residential building at Main Road and Cameron Street, on financial direction for the town, and on multiple projects related to recreation for local families.
The mayor opened the meeting by thanking council and the town for all their hard work over the past two months, and highlighting some accomplishments including getting requests for tender prepared for road paving, garbage collection and the replacement of a first responders’ truck.
A new mixed construction project was approved for the centre of town (426 Main Road) by a majority of council, with notable opposition from District 1 councillor Helen Kurgansky, as well as Chloe Hutchison, who has now stepped down as councillor for District 3 (Hudson centre). The building is planned for the lot at the foot of Cameron beside Hudson Mews, and will have multiple residential units.
The plan was opposed by more than one resident during question period, who variously expressed disappointment at the loss of an open space in the downtown core that has been used for numerous public events (such as the Hudson Music Festival), and concern over the look of the structure and whether it would fit with the spirit of the surrounding buildings.
Mayor Nicholls said he shared sadness over the loss of the public space, but that was “…part of the reason we’re bringing in Stantec (design consultants), to help create a vision for the downtown core that the citizens can accept.” He also said new residents would bring new dynamism to the town, and that he is “optimistic” the building will fit in with the surroundings after having seen the work that has been done to incorporate local elements into the design.
Council unanimously confirmed the permanent hiring of Director of Finance Pierre Charron who has been overseeing the department with success for some time. When asked by resident Frank Hicks if the town was finally “out of the cloud” with respect to problematic financial audits of the past, Nicholls said that was the hope. He later added that the town has “…finally cleared up the issues that the management letters have been flagging for five years” which should mean clean audits for the future.
Council also approved a donation of $17,000 to be paid in two instalments to the Manoir Cavagnal to assist them with the challenges of providing local affordable housing for seniors.
Council announced several initiatives relating to families and community spirit, including approval of funding for a party at the community centre following this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade and for the annual Easter party and egg hunt. They placed a cap of $10,000 on the budget for payments under the youth activity policy (where families are eligible for a refund of $100 per child for enrolment fees for sports activities not offered within the town of Hudson), saying that though they have never come close to that amount, they are hoping to increase participation in the program going forward.
On the sporting infrastructure front, council also approved an application for financial aid to subsidize an upgrade to the building at the Hudson Community Pool for the 2021 season, and announced the completion of a brand new skating oval that circumnavigates the upper field behind St. Thomas school, with access to parking available through Blenkinship Street.