News Local

Council receives 2018 public works budget

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

Town of Petawawa Municipal Building

Town of Petawawa Municipal Building

 

PETAWAWA – Council received a public works and transportation budget last week proposing $6.2 million in expenditures for 2018.

As councillors will be deliberating the next municipal budget early in the new year, departments are presenting their list of spending proposals now. The budget proposes $3.1 million in new capital infrastructure spending for roads and sidewalks.

While the price tag for such expenditures is high, public works director David Unrau explained that the town is lagging behind in funding to keep pace with its asset management plan which proposed an increase in taxation of 2.96 per cent annually for a nine-year period before dropping to 1.47 per cent. Although the town is behind by one year in the asset management plan, resulting in $5.2 million in deferred funding for capital infrastructure, they are trending in the right direction.

The town can expect monies from the federal gas tax and the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) for the Victoria Street sewage main project, however, it will not have access to the federal Clean Water and Wastewater Fund or the OCIF top up funding. Unrau made another pitch for a $750,000 sand dome, for which council has already set aside $350,000 in reserves. He noted that during the last winter season, the town ran out of sand for the roads because it did not have its own stockpile.

“We had to secure some from the county before we could get some from the contractor,” Unrau said.

Public works is seeking $245,000 for new vehicles. It proposes spending $374,463 for the next phase of the Mary Street reconstruction project, $434,772 for John Street, $450,000 for Schwanz Road and $395,683 for the next phase of the Achray Road project, jointing being funded by Laurentian Valley. Some councillors were concerned that Portage Road was not listed for upgrades considering the shape its currently in.

“Portage Road is dreadful, just dreadful,” said Councillor Treena Lemay. “It would not be wise for us to ignore a road Portage. It's the worst street in Petawawa.”

Staff also wants to spend $102,000 on active transportation infrastructure. While Deputy Mayor Tom Mohns questioned some aspects of the active transportation plan, Councillor Gary Serviss inquired about the potential to have paved shoulders on all major arteries leading to the Algonquin Trail, which will be running through the town once it opens.

“The onus is on us to provide residents a safe path to that trail,” said Serviss.

SChase@postmedia.com