The contractor who was carrying out the work at the parkette in Merrickville had an unpleasant surprise on October 17, after his equipment and some of his work was vandalized overnight. Local contractor Jonah Robinson was hired by the municipality to carry out the redesign of the parkette in Merrickville, funded by the Main Street Revitalization Grant that the municipality received in 2018. Construction began the week after Thanksgiving, with the hope of the entire project being completed this Fall.
Early on October 17, Jonah received a call from a fellow contractor letting him know that his equipment, and a new wall they had just installed, had been vandalized overnight. The message that was written on the equipment was targeted, and clearly directed towards, Jonah and his company. Mayor Doug Struthers says that, to their knowledge, nothing like this has ever occurred in the municipality before.
“This is not mischievous in the category of soaping windows,” he said at the council meeting of October 26. “This is malicious, targeted, and definitely not in the spirit and the community chemistry that we have known for decades and decades.”
However, in true Merrickville fashion, about a dozen people came out over the weekend to help Jonah clean up the spray paint and support his business, which has been part of the community for the past 12 years.
“It shows the spirit and caring that has always been, and will prevail, in Merrickville-Wolford,” Mayor Struthers says.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Ontario Provincial Police.
Despite the vandalism, the parkette redesign still progressed as scheduled and was completed on Friday. Mayor Struthers also announced at the last council meeting that the County has committed just under $55,000 to improve the strip of pavement leading up Mill Street from St. Lawrence to the swing bridge, to create a boulevard-type feel. CAO Doug Robertson confirmed that Jonah Robinson will be carrying out the work along Mill Street; however, they are unsure whether they will be able to finish the project this year, or wait until the Spring, when the potential for frost isn’t an issue.
“We’re still in the process of confirming when exactly we will start and finish that component,” CAO Robertson said in an email to the Times.