Sarnia City Council says ‘no thanks’ to architect’s proposal

Majority votes against spending any time evaluating concept but David Lavender remains hopeful

David Lavender, a local architect with an international practice, is proposing a legacy project for Sarnia, one that includes a focus on the waterfront, with emphasis on the history of indigenous people and the area's petrochemical heritage.

It would appear a proposal by David Lavender, a local architect, to see what is surely an innovative and potentially spectacular waterfront project become a reality is going nowhere fast.

Lavender, who made a presentation to Sarnia City Council at its regular meeting on Monday (May 9), was looking for at least a “first step” in supporting a┬áconcept he’s calling RiverWalk, which he has estimated would cost $2 million to complete.

Funds for the project would have come from several sources, including a 150 Canada fund that is being made available to communities. There is also potential funds associated with the Sarnia Centennial Legacy project, which was at least partially stalled by remediation work at Centennial Park.

Sarnia City Council as a whole was having none of it.

A motion to at least have a “low level” feasibility study conducted on the concept was defeated 4-3 by Council.

“We have no money and no time to be endorsing any kind of study right now for a $2-million possibility on our waterfront,” said Councillor Cindy Scholten. “This is not the right time for that.”

Lavender remains optimistic that the project is viable and that community support will determine whether it becomes a reality. He says he has received verbal support from many, including Tourism Sarnia-Lambton.

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  • John McBean

    What is wrong with our council? They are as bad as the school board!!!
    A chance to beautify our waterfront and they don’t want to back a good proposals!!!
    Just heard they also turned down sending money to Alberta(Fort McMurray) to help them?

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the group that got turned down for doing something with the old General Hospital could do something with SCITS but we would have to get rid of the Mayor and Council and elect people with vision to make Sarnia proud to be living here.

  • Ronnie Chicoine

    It is time to clean house, remember everything that goes on ,or doesn’t happen,next time you vote. There is no money for what reason? The public know why, it is time for city council to figure it out, if it isn’t too late