County won't join city on Boundary Road
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Boundary Road crosses two jurisdictions as sections fall in the City of Pembroke and Laurentian Valley. Here at Trafalgar Road, motorists drive from the township into the city.
The County of Renfrew will not engage the City of Pembroke in a joint cost sharing project to rehabilitate Boundary Road.
In December, Mayor Mike LeMay invited County Warden Jennifer Murphy to partner with the city on Boundary Road which is estimated to cost $2.88 million over the next three years. So far, the city has spent $130,000 for engineering and geotechnical services.
This initiative comes on the heels of a $818,000 rehabilitation of the Indian River bridge on Boundary Road. However, when reviewing the proposal last week the operations committee decided not to take up the city's offer as the entire section targeted for rehabilitation, some three kilometres from Trafalgar Road to Paul Martin Drive, lies within Pembroke's boundaries.
In the correspondence, LeMay explained that the city is not contemplating a full depth reconstruction of Boundary Road, however, he pointed out the road requires a new surface provisions for surface drainage. The intent would be to remove and replace the asphalt and concrete works only with some work on storm sewers, the mayor added. Murphy noted that this doesn't preclude the county from pursuing partnerships on other matters in the future.
“We want to be good neighbours and good corporate citizens,” said Murphy. “This project was just one that the operations committee felt that they didn't want to commit to.”
Boundary Road is one of the more complex arteries in the area as some sections fall within Laurentian Valley, which belongs to the county and lies on the west side of the road. In recent years, the county has undertaken the rehabilitation of the most westerly portion of Boundary Road as well as sections of Mud Lake Road at a total cost of $2.72 million. Both projects were done without funding from the city.
“We look at Boundary Road in terms of a regional context,” explained County director of public works Steve Boland. “There is little question that Boundary Road serves the needs of the travelling public on a regional basis. However, there are also numerous other roads in the local vicinity that serve the same purpose.”
One of the issues is the lack of an agreement that would facilitate such joint projects. In 1997, there was a change to the delivery of services by local municipal governments when the Pembroke Suburban Roads Commission was disbanded. As a result of negotiations between the city and the county at the time, it was agreed that a portion of the $242,564 surplus from the commission be returned to the city. That refund amounted to $60,641. Today, both parties have no formal mechanism for developing a cost sharing plan for roads that cross jurisdictions.
“There is no cost sharing agreement or cost sharing formula in place for that,” added Boland. “That's a discussion that would need to take place.”