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McKeown St. residents pleased with solution

July 19, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Kira Wronska Dorward

In a follow up to the McKeown Street deputation at the previous Council meeting on June 24, Alan Masters was once again present to represent his neighbours and their thoughts on the Public Works plan that had been proposed.

“I’ve had a chance to read the report,” said Masters, “and so have other members of McKeown Street, and we find it a fair finding…we’ll have to get through another winter however.  On behalf of McKeown Street, we’re grateful for the way in which Public Works addressed this. Democracy does move fast.”

Masters also pointed out again that deterioration of the roads is not at a constant or predictable rate, and the state of a road does not always correspond to reports and planned repair schedules. And, he reminded the audience, the consultant from the previous presentation pointed out that New Tecumseh has the largest area of roads to contend with.

Masters’ response followed a presentation by a consultant on the town’s Public Works department, who specifically mentioned road work, finding that the Township of New Tecumseth highest number of lane kilometres and that maintenance was below average, with 37% percent of roads in “good to very good shape.”

As far as deciding what roads need repair, “it’s really up to Council. The road study is not a bible, it’s a guideline” added Masters. “We’re very proud of our beautiful towns of New Tecumseth, and I think it’s very important our residential roads take precedence over this vast rural territory.”

Council and Public Works had moved to move up the schedule of repairing McKeown Street to the 2020 schedule, moving over 70 spots up the list. Councillor Foster took exception to this, saying, “there are 72 other roads that I would love to move to the 2020 improvement plan…I can’t support this motion.”

There was then some debate about if all roads scheduled for 2023 had subsequently been reassessed by Public Works and moved up the schedule. Staff responded that they had reassessed all other roads, as they could not do McKeown in isolation. Staff added it would be “prudent for us” to reassess in the fall, but it was unlikely there would be much change to the state of the roads between now and then.

Councillor Sainsbury took exception to Masters’ comment about the paving of only urban roads, pointing out that she has three major rural sideroads in her district.

“We’re all taxpayers…we should have fairness and a percentage always going towards the rural roads.”

Councillor Foster inquired what happens to the process if another deputation about another road is made. Staff responded that other roads in the same state of disrepair would have been identified in the reassessment process, and would affect the schedule after 2020.

The recommendation of the public works, the department said, was “based solely on public works expertise, regardless of the deputation.”

Councillor MacLellan asked Council if they had not previously voted on three rural roads to pave in this year’s budget.

“Is it fair to say other roads received the same inspection [as McKeown Street]?” she asked. Staff responded that it was.

The motion was voted and carried.


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