UPDATE: Kings County antes up for subdivision paving

Kirk Starratt
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By Kirk Starratt

kstarratt@kingscountynews.ca

KingsCountyNews.ca

Subdivision residents in Kings County who had their streets paved this fall won’t have to pay a local improvement charge.

Kings County council voted Dec. 3 to pay the municipality's half of the bill, approximately $1.2 million, entirely from reserves identified by staff. The province is paying the other half. The money to be used was earlier budgeted for other initiatives that have not proceeded.

“We want to see all J-Class roads in Kings County improved,” Warden Diana Brothers stated in a news release issued immediately following the council vote on Dec. 3. “This proactive approach will keep Kings County ahead of the curve in regards to infrastructure, while ensuring that all residents have access to safe, well maintained roads.”

Council voted six to four in favour of the motion. Pauline Raven, Emma VanRooyen, Kim MacQuarrie and Patricia Bishop voted against it. Jim Winsor was not present.

Some councillors expressed concern the funding decision could set a precedent for future years.

“Should or could a local improvement charge be put in place?” Coun. Pauline Raven said. “This is about fairness and transparency.”

She said taxpayers in districts across the county have paid local improvement charges for paving in subdivisions. Some paid per lot while others paid based on road frontage. Raven said there are residents in District 3 who are still paying on a 10-year plan for paving done in 2007. There have been other cases where residents have been exempted from local improvement charges.

 “It was never my intent to move to a place with this council that we exempt so many roads when so many residents have had to pay,” Raven said.

VanRooyen said there has been an inconsistent application of the bylaws governing the petitioning or surveying process for subdivision paving. She said funding paving the way council has this year isn’t sustainable or an effective use of tax dollars.

Deputy Warden Brain Hirtle voted in favour of the motion, with some reluctance. “I feel we’re setting a precedent for J-Class roads being our top priority for the next five to 10 years,” he said. “I hope people understand it will be at the expense of all other programs we do. I’ve struggled with this to no length.”

Paving process

In August, council approved a list of streets across the municipality for possible resurfacing as part of the cost-shared 2013 J-Class paving program. Municipal engineering and public works staff, working in collaboration with the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, determined the list of roads. These streets would become the sole responsibility of the province to maintain once resurfaced.

A total of 15.3 km of some of the worse subdivision streets across the municipality were paved in November. These included streets in Greenwich, Port Williams, New Minas, Coldbrook, Aylesford, Auburn and Kingston.

If a local improvement charge were instituted for the 2013 J-Class paving, as many as 624 property owners could have been affected.

 

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Earlier story

Subdivision residents in Kings County who have had their streets paved this fall won't have to pay a local improvement charge.

 

Kings County council has voted to pay the municipality's half of the bill, $1.2 million, entirely from reserves identified by staff. The other $1.2 million is being paid by the province.

 

"We want to see all J-Class roads in Kings County improved," Warden Diana Brothers stated in a press release issued immediately following the council vote on Dec. 3. "This proactive approach will keep Kings County ahead of the curve in regards to infrastructure, while ensuring that all residents have access to safe, well maintained roads."

 

In August, council approved a list of streets across the municipality for possible resurfacing as part of the cost-shared 2013 J-Class paving program. These streets would become the sole responsibility of the province to maintain once resurfaced.

 

As part of the project, a total of 15.3 km of some of the worse subdivision streets across the municipality were paved in November. The list of roads was determined by municipal engineering and public works staff, working in collaboration with the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. There were subdivision streets paved in Greenwich, Port Williams, New Minas, Coldbrook, Aylesford, Auburn and Kingston.

 

Council voted six to four in favour of the motion on Dec. 3. Councillors Pauline Raven, Emma VanRooyen, Kim MacQuarrie and Patricia Bishop voted against it. Coun. Jim Winsor was not present.

 

Raven said that a motion regarding the J-Class paving referred at the Sept. 3 meeting has yet to be addressed by council. That motion directed the chief administrator to execute the notice of acceptance of provincial funding with municipal funding options to be determined by council. However, Warden Diana Brothers said it was the motion referred at the Oct. 15 meeting that was brought back on the floor.

 

Some councillors expressed concern that the funding decision could set a precedent for future years. Another option was to have residents pay part or all of the municipality's share of the cost through local improvement charges.

 

More to come.

 

 

Organizations: Kings County council, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

Geographic location: Kings, Greenwich, Port Williams Coldbrook Kingston

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Recent comments

  • John Tobin
    December 08, 2013 - 20:29

    Our street, Langille Drive was paved in 2007 and we were charged about $2200. per household for this work. It is certainly not fair that we were forced to pay for this work while current streets are paved at no charge to the current homeowners. We demand a refund for the charges to us for the money we were forced to pay for the paving. John Tobin, 2019 Langille Drive, Coldbrook, 678-1441. Please respond to this request.

  • dg
    December 08, 2013 - 16:29

    Has anyone driven on Schofield Rd in North Alton. Was this a shared project because honestly this is a complete waste of tax payers funds. What a mess, someone should be held accountable for this waste. If the contractor would have followed the proper method for the use of the applied product, we would have gotten our moneys worth. only in kings county under the direction of a thief could this happen

  • dg
    December 08, 2013 - 16:20

    I would think that using money from "reserves", wherever this money came from???, should only be used in an emergency. Not paving roads in the"higher class" sub divisions or building burms in an area where no flooding has yet occured, try swallowing a little deeper, fix the areas that need repairing, locations where roads are almost impassable.