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How surprising progress can be!




Imagine coming home from night shift, finally getting to rest in the morning and then being awoken to the unexpected sound of massive construction in your front yard? When shift working Nurse, (P.S.W Personal Support Worker) Dianne Nixon realized a construction crew were on her front lawn, obstructing and demolishing the entrance to her driveway, it was already too late. In a frantic attempt to save her septic bed perimeter from being compromised by the weight of heavy machinery, Nixon ordered the machinery be removed, the construction crew complied immediately, and the work carried on.

Nixon, on 720 Owen Sound St. and her neighbors will be inconvenienced by the construction while new water main pipes are laid to accommodate expansion and prepare for the new subdivision already underway in Shelburne North.

Normal protocol in these situations involve letters of notification, follow up phone calls, door to door communication and in most cases all homeowners are completely aware of construction situations well in advance of the actual date and have ample time to plan ahead.

Every now and then, and especially in the case of busy young families, attempts to contact fail and are not followed up on. Nixon admits she received a letter of notification announcing a crew would be expanding water main pipes and she vaguely remembers mention of Susan Street, and like most homeowners, never thought the situation would include her. In any case, the lack of follow up communication left Nixon exhausted, blind- sided, frustrated, unable to leave her household, facing the devastation of her front yard and as a result of the construction, Nixon's young son, a newspaper courier for the Shelburne Free Press was unable to deliver on the night of Thursday, September 19th.

“I'm most frustrated with the lack of communication involving notification, and lack of empathy initially when addressing my situation,” explained Nixon.”I am so grateful for the city's immediate response and they really were supportive and understanding. That part was very impressive. Clearly Shelburne residents matter to City Representatives.”

The simple facts remain: a family were not aware of the construction and the colossal impact it would present in their lives, the construction company were not aware the homeowner had not been informed, and the stress surrounding the situation was only compounded by frustration on both sides of the situation.

Moving forward, the water main pipes installed are much needed and will improve water pressure exponentially for Nixon and her neighbors, and while Nixon readily agrees progress and expansion are great for Shelburne, she wishes her situation had been handled differently.

Construction crews are more than accustomed to homeowner frustration as change is almost always upsetting, but they are just doing their jobs. If anything, this article can raise awareness surrounding the massive machinery utilized when notifications are sent out announcing pending construction, and the unnecessary stress caused to homeowners when communication announcements fail to inform. Perhaps this quote sums it up best, “The essential quality of life is living; the essential quality of living is change; change is evolution; and we are part of it." – Author John Wyndham, The Chrysalids

By Alex Sher

 
Post date: 2013-09-25 23:47:10
Post date GMT: 2013-09-26 03:47:10
Post modified date: 2013-10-05 19:21:02
Post modified date GMT: 2013-10-05 23:21:02
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