In a scathing letter to council, Former Mayor Joe Fratesi says the proposal in front of council Monday is not a good thing.
The longest serving Sault Ste. Marie Mayor, Joe Fratesi, agrees with many of the others who are not in favour of taking the terminal out of the core.
“Council is constantly talking about the need to support the Downtown. How can this proposal be seen as helping the Downtown? How can anyone think that it supports the GFL Memorial Gardens? How can anyone argue that it will provide greater flexibility to transit users?” says Fratesi in the letter.
Fratesi served as both Mayor (1986-1996) before becoming CAO from ’96 to his retirement in 2015. In almost 30 years, he had never heard of this idea.
“Yes, the current building needs some improvement, but it is a solid building, in the right location that needs updating. Certainly, the cost of renovations of a simple facility that continues to be well located cannot be so high as to suggest relocation. The need to relocate the bus terminal was never even suggested as an issue to be addressed during the whole time that I served with the City.”
Another voice out against the relocation is that of Dan Hollingsworth, Vice-President at N1 Solutions. N1 Solutions recently signed an agreement with Missanabie Cree First Nation and the Canal District to bring more tourists to the area, with the Agawa Tour Train and see this proposal as a bad idea.
“On behalf of our organization, I am submitting this letter to express our concern with the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s plans to relocate the Downtown Bus Terminal to Huron Street, adjacent to the Canal District,” said Hollingsworth. “We are deeply concerned with the City’s intentions to create more traffic in this area and the potential negative consequences on creating a welcoming area for visitors to our community.”
In his letter he suggests there are multiple concerns being ignored.
“When attending the public information sessions, several issues and concerns were brought
forward to the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s staff and the consultant. Many of these items remain unresolved, without contingency plans or have not been responded to from the City,” said Hollingsworth. “We ask at this time for clarification for both questions remaining, and confirmation that all items will be presented to City Council.”
Fratesi finished his letter with some wise words he hopes council will heed.
“Nobody likes change, though sometimes change is necessary. However, relocating the bus terminal is certainly not one of those times. Tony Porco is absolutely correct in his concerns and hopefully Council will seriously consider the concerns of its citizens who have contributed much time and/or investment into our community.”
Stay with SaultOnline as we reveal more names of individuals and groups who are against this relocation.