St. Marys Journal Argus
Having recently eliminated the overlapping roles of the Business Improvement Area (BIA) and the Downtown Merchants Association, the committee now known solely as the St. Marys BIA continues to follow through on the suggestions brought last spring by small-town retail consultant Pierre Cliche. Among the suggestions now under discussion is the removal of locust trees in the downtown core.
“We’re not talking about the little maples, because they’re still compact,” said BIA representative Sue Griffiths, owner of Village Craft and Candle on Queen Street.
During his presentations in St. Marys last spring, Cliche pointed out the lack of uniformity in the trees downtown. He suggested greater similarity in the trees would contribute to a more attractive streetscape.
There’s also concern that the locusts aren’t well-suited to annual trimming and, as a result, have grown to a size beyond what’s preferred. Griffiths noted the BIA funded the installation of decorative metal banners last year, but some banners are now almost obscured by the growing trees. In other cases, limbs are making contact with buildings.
“As a group, we don’t think (the locusts) belong in the downtown,” she said, adding the locusts are only at corner locations.
Minutes of a recent BIA meeting, made available to Town Council as information, include a vote in favour of asking for removal.