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Council to discuss assuming Gun Club Road

Council will discuss an information report of the Engineering, Development and Works Commission regarding assumption of maintenance of an unnamed and unassumed road allowance off Gun Club Road motorists are now using at their own risk.

The unassumed and unnamed road allowance follows the boundary between the old Townships of Hallowell and North Marysburgh, off Gun Club Road. This road allowance’s origin is questionable, but it is not a Crown surveyed road allowance. Official recognition and status of this road allowance, and the County’s ultimate responsibility for it, has remained unresolved since amalgamation.

The County has received requests to maintain a 220 +/- metre portion of this unassumed road allowance that leads to the Prince Edward County Rod & Gun Club. Over the years the Gun Club’s requests for maintenance has been handled through direct
monetary grants or services in-lieu within the Public Works budgets.

The Gun Club asks that the matter be finally resolved and that the County recognize responsibility for maintenance of this portion of the road allowance. The club, a not-for-profit organization that promotes safe use of fire arms, said it is threatened without a safe access way to the road. About 25 of the club’s 115 person membership use the facility in the winter.

Staff are recommending the formal assumption, opening, naming and assignment of a service level to that portion of the road allowance from Gun Club Road to the entrance of the Prince Edward County Rod & Gun Club property, and the formal closure of the remainder of the road allowance.

Recommendations contained in the Jan. 14 report were deferred to Tuesday night’s council meeting for clarification and impact if looking to classify the road as a year-round road.

The portion of the road at issue has the appearance of a typical seasonal one-lane gravel road and recognizing it as such is the recommendation in the January staff report. However, at the Committee of the Whole meeting the Gun Club indicated
that prior to amalgamation they received occasional winter snow clearing from the prior Township of Hallowell. The Gun Club indicated it was requesting only occasional year-round maintenance, and not an improved level of service.

To the County, the decision whether to assume the road for seasonal or year round use triggers two primary impacts: Planning related, and capital and ongoing road maintenance cost-related.

If council assumes the road for year-round use, staff recommends to control development of the adjacent properties, a one-foot reserve is imposed along all
sides of the proposed road allowance to be opened (i.e. close the open one-foot as a highway) between the curve and the Gun Club gates. The only open connecting portion would then be the Gun Club access. In the future, prior to agreeing to open the one-foot reserve to access other lands, council would require road upgrades or costs from the requesting landowner.

Financial implications under consideration include the cost to upgrade the proposed shortened road (280 m +/-) to a suitable condition for year round Class s status is estimated at $33,000 (plus applicable HST) using County forces and materials. This cost is not in the 2016 operating budget.
Staff anticipate the annual cost to provide year round maintenance would be marginally more that the already anticipated cost of providing seasonal maintenance to the current open Gun Club Rd.

Council could also adopt a new Year Round Class 6 road policy, however, there is no effective way to ensure traffic volumes remain low enough (under 49 vehicles per day average) to prevent an unplanned road re-classification to Class 5, with the related
increased level of service, so staff are not recommending this option.

The cost to survey the appropriate portions of the road allowances and the legal costs for the road closing and registering of the bylaw is estimated at $20,000. These costs would be the responsibility of the County. Staff anticipate that the annual cost to grade the road in the summer (seasonal basis)
would have a small impact on the overall operating budget. No capital upgrades are contemplated for this road.

A bylaw is to be brought forward for enactment Tuesday to:
• open and assume the southern 220 +/- metre portion of the unnamed and unassumed road allowance off Gun Club Road,
• in principle proceed to name the open portion “Gun Club Road”,
• assign a Class 6 seasonal service level to the open portion, and
• close the balance of the unnamed and unassumed road allowance off Gun Club Road, all as described in the report and that public notice of council’s intention to close and declare surplus the portion Gun Club Road off Old Milford Road.


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