Veen asks Premier to help spruce up Oil Springs for UNESCO designation

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If the world is coming to see the Oil Springs historic oil fields, the mayor says it needs to look good.
Lambton County and Fairbank Oil are working on a bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage site. But Mayor Ian Veen says his town, including its roads, needs to look good.
That’s the message he conveyed to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne on her recent visit to Sarnia.
Wynne spoke to members of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce on May 5.
The premier also made time to speak with local mayors — although some didn’t attend because of the short notice.
“The town needs to look good, if you are going to present it to the world,” Veen told Wynne.
The refurbishment of Oil Springs Line is one of the concerns. The municipality plans to rebuild a half kilometre of the road from Oil Heritage Road to Elizabeth Street. It will cost $360,000 but the village has been unable to get any grants.
It receives money from gas taxes, but only about $22,000 a year.
Veen said he’s discouraged by the way the province metes out funding.
“There’s frustration with the way grants are written,” says Veen.
“I told her (Wynne) about it and she said she’d look into it.”
But Veen doubts beautifying and upgrading Oil Springs is on the premier’s radar.
“I’m sure Kathleen Wynne has already forgotten about Lambton County and Oil Springs,” he says wryly.

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