COVID -19: An important step in Sutton’s recovery plan
Sutton, June 11, 2020 – Out of concern for the health and safety of the residents and visitors who spend time in the village and on the rue Principale as well as for the survival of its small local businesses, the Town of Sutton is taking an important step in the economic relaunch of the municipality. This summer, with the agreement of the Ministère des transports du Québec (MTQ), parking spaces will be removed from the rue Principale to enable a temporary expansion of pedestrian areas. Public hand washing stations and toilets will be made available in various locations in the village. Parking in the village core will be maintained with the creation of a temporary gravel parking lot.
These actions respond to a heartfelt cry from business owners who find themselves in a precarious situation in addition to having to deal with new hygienic practice requirements. Sutton wants to help them welcome back customers while still respecting the recommendations of the Direction de la santé publique (DSP). “Our rue Principale and the adjoining streets are places to meet and gather and where we find the local businesses that meet the needs of our citizens and attract visitors”, said Michel Lafrance, Mayor of Sutton. “We want to protect, reassure and give back to our citizens and visitors the confidence to go out, shop, and buy local, right here in Sutton, while respecting the guidelines for physical distancing and the other health measures that are likely to be maintained for several more months.”
It was with this in mind that on June 1st, 2020 the Council gave the green light to reconfigure the rue Principale, including the development of a new temporary parking, lot by authorizing a maximum expense of $80,600 funded from the accumulated surplus used for unforeseen situations. A total of thirty-eight (38) parking spaces will be removed between Academy and Pine streets. This will enable the expansion of the pedestrian areas and make possible a more versatile use of the street. Bollards and flower planters will be installed to ensure the safety of pedestrians. Drivers will be able to park on the site of the former Filtex factory, accessible from rue Pine. Green areas are also planned in this new temporary space which could also be used for one-off events when appropriate.
It should be noted that, thanks to the support of the Ministère de la culture et des communications (MCC), the Town of Sutton has recently started a process for the village core development project that includes the Filtex site, the John Sleeth Community Center and the Musée des communications et d’histoire de Sutton. The objective of this project is to develop along with the community an overall vision that takes into account the “flavor of Sutton”, the needs to be met and the main uses of the three (3) municipal sites. The temporary arrangement of the Filtex site as a parking area will remain only until the land finds its permanent purpose.