Reflections on Crediton

Keeping the Peace
By Tom Lessard, C.D.

It all began many many moons ago. This is the saga of the bridge, sewers and roads.
“We need a new bridge,” they said. “And your septic systems are shot, and have to be replaced by sewers.”
Detour signs began going up, which meant there would be no entry or exit at the east end of town. Jordy’s Gas Bar immediately felt the brunt of this move as there was no through traffic. This detour had one positive effect on the town. The “race track” (the main road) was virtually shut down and there was no loud truck noise. One negative effect was that, as my wife and I have to clean the Huron Park Post Office, we were obliged to go down Parr Line to Mt. Camel Road and turn left at Airport Line to get to Huron Park (quite the detour).
We took up residence in Crediton on November 8th, 2002; first-time home owners we were. Two weeks later, we received a notice in our front door inviting us to a meeting at the town hall that would explain everything we needed to know about the upcoming installation of sewers. No one had told us of this project prior to this. It was a bit of a shock to find out that it was going to cost us up to $20 000 per lot. From what I have been told by many residents of the town, this sewer project had been in the planning since 1995. Prior to amalgamation there was, so I’ve been informed, $1 million in a fund in the Stephen Twp. budget for just such a project, but that money disappeared when we were taken over by South Huron. At the meeting we were told that requests had been made to COMRIF for federal and provincial assistance to cover two-thirds of the cost, leaving us to pay the remaining third. This would have been no real hardship to most Creditionites. It sounded good, especially to those whose septic tanks were in bad shape. We organized the citizenry of both Crediton and Centralia after we were told that there would be no COMRIF funding because the fund had been depleted.
The push was on. Signs were made up with “No Grants. No Sewers” inscribed on them. Most of the households of both villages attended the next council meetings to voice our displeasure with the powers that be over their caving in to the MInistry of Environment to push the sewers through without any financial aid coming in. I even had sign boards, which I wore, and paraded around in front of the town hall. It didn’t do us a lot of good. It was no money out of councillors’ pockets (all residents of other towns), so they didn’t seem to be bothered by our woes. Projects will proceed with utmost speed.
Thank God for Diane Faubert Tripp. She took it upon herself to make an appointment with the provincial Finance Minister, who was going to be in Goderich. From him, she received $1 million to be shared by the homeowners in both villages, amounting to $3500 per house.
You get a get a gold star in heaven for your efforts, Diane.
To be continued….
Happy Birthday Millie Lessard and Patsy Gray. You both look just as pretty as you did 60 years ago. Love you both.