Task force to deal with growing concerns in downtown Midland
Beatrice Vaisman, CTV Barrie
Published Friday, April 13, 2018 6:54PM EDT
After problems with sex, alcohol and violence at the library in Midland, the town is launching a new task force that will look at wider issues in the town.
Midland Mayor Gord McKay is set to lead the task force, which will provide suggestions to address major problems plaguing the downtown area.
“If somebody doesn't have a house or he's got an addiction, how do you help that so you just don't throw a security guard at it and say ‘stop that,’” he says.
The decision comes at the same time that councillors approved funding to continue full-time security at Midland's library.
"I think we have an obligation to protect our employees at the library and the patrons who use it, and now we need to get on top of protecting the rest of downtown," says Cody Oschefski, town councillor.
The library is just a few doors down from a homeless shelter, which has been at capacity every night.
Representatives from The Guesthouse Shelter are expected to have a seat at the table when task force discussions begin.
"Homeless exist, poverty exists, and we're here to alleviate that,” says Rosemary Sykes, shelter operations manager. “We're happy to work with the town."
Council is expected to formally approve funding for the task force at its next meeting.