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Road repair discussion hits potholes

By Ross Lees
While road repairs got paved over in the recent Prince Edward County budget, councillors are still trying to get road work in their wards if senior government funds become available.
Councillors Dianne O’Brien, Janice Maynard and Robert Quaiff touched off a lengthy and sometimes heated debate at committee of the whole meeting Thursday over what roads in the County should be considered for work if senior government funds were to become available.
Councillor Kevin Gale said staff should not be asked to go through a process council was not prepared to support financially. He recalled discussions during the budgeting process revealed council did not want to commit to road work in a tight budget year because they were required to commit one third of the cost of the work from the County coffers.
Councillor Keith MacDonald warned one and all he wanted to see Hallowell roads on any study being done on which roads would receive priority if funds became available.
“If Hallowell township isn’t represented on that study, believe me you’re going to hear a lot, and not only from me and the representatives here, but we’ll have a delegation here,” he stated.
Councillor Terry Shortt said he was not prepared to give one road preference over another simply because road repair was, and always had been, such a political issue.
Councillor Brian Marisett said politics should be taken out of the decision entirely by having the commissioner of public works make the decision on which roads should be worked on.
Since commissioner of public works Robert McAuley had already been instructed to prepare a report and recommendations for road work priorities, Marisett asked him when he felt he would be bringing that report forward.
McAuley said the report should come before council sometime in the late summer. The majority of council agreed any decision about road repairs should hinge on that report.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Wilson says:

    Make no mistake. The budget process in the county, as folks are already well aware, was brutal. Councillors knew then – just as those of us that follow the news knew – that the county was committing to supporting something like 47 km. of highway.

    How quickly they forget!

  2. Ken says:

    Only one comment to derail the subject at hand from road repairs to wind turbines. That might be a new record.

    I hope they actually get around to fixing some of the roads in the County. It’s getting to be like driving in Hamilton.

  3. Chris Keen says:

    I think every taxpayer in the County is prepared to believe that their Councillor(s) will go to the mat to see roads improved in their ward. Why is time being wasted discussing this when we pay a professional to advise Council which roads need repairing? Apparently Councillor Marisett remembered we have a Commissioner of Public Works and wisely suggested that he produce a report on the state of the County’s roads for Council.

    Council’s time could be much better spent on more urgent matters. It asked for a moratorium on turbines for health reasons earlier in the year. This has apparently been ignored by the Provincial government.

    Is Council now going to sit on its collective hands? Why does it not go back with a second appeal, citing the critical environmental importance of this Important Birding Area along the County’s south shore? Promoted properly, Prince Edward Point could be a tourist mecca and a huge boon for the local economy. That won’t happen if it’s allowed to be destroyed by turbines.

    Mayor Mertens and Council – do not continue to sit idly by. You need to work tirelessly on this matter. This is likely the most important issue this, or perhaps any, Council will ever face. Do not go down in history as the Council that allowed the destruction of this environmental gem. We can easily fix damage to roads. We cannot fix the damage wind turbines will do to the County’s environment.

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