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“We can’t allow third world streets to stay in our Town,” McKeown resident tells Council

July 5, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Kira Wronska Dorward

At the June 21 Committee of the Whole Meeting, McKeown Street resident Alan Masters made a presentation to Council on behalf of his street and neighbours.

The issue at hand was the sorry state of the street’s pavement and road, which Masters began by stating that “any kind of repair on this road would just be a waste of taxpayer’s money…it has to be done properly. The next step is a complete repaving.”

He described the poor-to-no surface or water drainage with a compelling photo of the street after a rainstorm where water sat in pools above the road. In addition, there is insufficient paving, with curb stones at points being a full two inches above the street pavement, in very shoddy state of repair and beginning to crumble.

Masters cited the concerns of the many residents of the street, and, in particular newcomers, who are worried that state of the road will impact their property values. Concerns extended to safety, as well as the impact the potholes have on car suspensions.

“The residents are concerned for the safety of children and other residents…someone could have a very nasty accident. You have to drive, like, two kilometres an hour down the road because suspension is taking such a beating.”

Masters then brought up the point of other roads nearby (in particular, Stuart Street, one road below McKeown) having recently been repaved.

“Why should it be any different for us?” he asked. “We’ve been paying taxes for 40 years and waiting patiently.”

Councillor McIntyre-Harris then added her voice, stating that the majority of calls she receives in her ward is about the same issue. However, she added, “I don’t want to give favouritism because you guys came to the podium,” indicating she wasn’t necessarily in support of a motion to immediately address the McKeown Street problem when so many in her ward are struggling with their own roads.

Masters then brought up an RNS study done five years before. “Nothing has been done on our road for over forty years, so we feel we are on the top of the list.”

Other members of Council cited the same RNS report, saying that McKeown Street was part of a five-year plan and would be fixed in 2020, and that it currently stood at #74 in terms of priority.

Councillor MacLellan put in her two cents that since the time of the report, the street had “deteriorated quite quickly” and that it should be reassessed.

The CAO commented that as other roads have been microsurfaced recently, McKeown had been “identified as a now-need, and has really reached the end of its life.”

“Can I just mention,” added Masters, “that McKeown Street won’t last until 2020? It’s done now.”

Deputy Mayor Norcross asked for an inspection of the streets in the next week by public works, and to come back with a report for Council, so this issue might be addressed as quickly as possible for residents.

The issue of roads in New Tecumseth is certainly one that has come up again and again at Council, and has become a serious issue.

As Masters put it, “It’s a shame we have to make a presentation. You can’t allow third-world streets to stay in our town.”

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