There is no end of “pothole issues”, local issues about road design and maintenance, speed limits, signs and the like that seem to plague municipal councils everywhere. We need contributions from our members to add here. Here’s a few to start off…
The entrances to Devcor Centre and Shoppers Drug Mart/LCBO were built within 100 feet of busy, 4-lane, intersections and are two of the most hazardous entrances in Town. At busy times traffic becomes gridlocked at both locations. In both cases other options existed at the time of site plan approval but were missed. The Shoppers/LCBO building could have been built facing Alkenbrack Street with an entrance further west but no one spotted this issue at the time. The Shoppers Drug Mart/LCBO entrance will become impossible when Alkenbrack street is extended to Belleville Road.
Other possible areas to explore:
The Centre St bottleneck (see Our County).
We just spent $224,840.83 on a new street sweeper. Is it necessary to sweep the streets every day?
Do we really need a 15-ton Michigan loader and 5 union workers to pick up yard waste? Couldn’t this be contracted out to a guy with a half-ton?
Many neighbouring municipalities plow all sidewalks. The municipality is responsible for injuries sustained by pedestrians on sidewalks; however, in the case of snow and ice, liability is limited to cases of “gross negligence”.
Councillor Harvey (Ward 4) has raised the issue of sidewalk plowing in the urban area.
Currently Town staff plow the sidewalks in front of Shopper Drug Mart, Millgan Farms, No Frills, Canadian Tire, Devcor Centre and Walmart for free. The Town also retains a contractor to plow the sidewalks downtown. The public works manager claims that the cost of this was $15,976 in 2013 and $30,917 in 2014. See: Agenda May 26. This figure probably includes the cost to remove the snow. $5,000/yr of this is recovered from downtown business owners through the BIA levy.
General sidewalk plowing in the urban area could be done under an special levy system under s. 326 of the Municipal Act, with those benefiting paying a few% extra for the service provided there is sufficient local support. Kingston plows all sidewalks using a fleet of ten Camaleon track-driven sidewalk plows manufactured by R.P.M. Tech Inc. The cost of a new unit is $135,933 plus HST. Normal fuel consumption is 10.5 liters per hour. Sidewalks require plowing 10-15 times per year depending on conditions and all sidewalks in Town could probably be done in about 8 hours. These plows use a V-shaped blade and are not appropriate for the commercial district downtown where snow is plowed to the curb and later removed. Sidewalk plowing might be contracted out. If costs were recovered from taxpayers in “the sidewalk district” by a special levy under s.326 of the Municipal Act, a fair estimate for the surcharge might be 2% of the Town portion of taxes (or 1% of total taxes).
Let’s hear some other ideas…
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Hubert Hogle 532-3672
Dennis Mills 354-6375
Arthur Ronald 354-4291
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