Here we go again, another public hearing on the Molly Banister extension issue.
This time, unlike the myriad of past Molly Banister extension public hearings, they are contemplating Bennett Street instead of Molly Banister.
The interesting part in this is that for many years and at many former public hearings the effect on dozens of home owners along Molly Banister would be negatively affected but this time it will be hundreds of home owners (condominiums) along Bennett Street that will be negatively affected.
Mayor Tara Veer cannot vote on this issue due to conflict-of-interest.
I cannot blame Guy Pelletier and his company Melcor for wanting to be able to build 70 expensive homes backing onto Piper Creek, after all they are a business and not a charity.
Councillor Michael Dawe did state that he felt that many Red Deerians, are sick of these public hearings and it seems that council can’t come to a resolution. My sense is that council keeps having these hearings until they get the outcome they want. Even though they knew before proceeding that Molly Banister was preferred over Bennett Street by a 9-1 margin.
Will council sacrifice hundreds of families’ quality of life along Bennett Street so Melcor can build 70 more houses? The last municipal census showed the city after five years only grew by 195 residents, but in that same time, we built 1,299 new homes. Again, the city depreciated our assessed home values eliminating any tax base growth.
It will be interesting to see who votes to protect the quality of life for hundreds of families in Bower along Bennett Street against those who vote to increase Melcor’s profit, just six weeks before the next municipal election. It could be interesting.
Garfield Marks, Red Deer