Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
Township council wrestles with roads budget
Champlain Township council spent most of its time on the 2018 roadworks budget reviewing priorities after one council member declared he wouldn’t support any suggestions for bank loans to fix up some streets in the township.
“I will not vote to borrow money to build roads,” said Coun. Gérard Miner during a recent budget review session. “There is an effect on the (future) taxes because you have got to pay the money back.”
The capital works portion of the budget proposed about $4.3 million for roadworks, including both actual construction or improvements to township roads, bridges and culverts, and replacement of some roadwork vehicles. The majority of the money includes more than $3.4 million in federal, provincial, and counties grants plus drawing on the reserve fund for $25,000 and also allocating a portion of the municipal tax levy to the fund.
The original recommendation from administration was for bank loans totaling $621,120 for some road work proposals not covered through grants or other funding sources. That sparked Coun. Miner’s objection.
After discussion, council agreed to remove Aimée Street and Duval Road from the 2018 roadworks plan, and postpone purchase of a replacement pickup truck for the public works department next year. Council also agreed that instead of using its counties grant for purchase of a new tandem snow plow and water truck, the township would get a loan for the vehicle and use the grant to cover part of the cost for redoing the asphalt on Derby Street and Belmont Street next year.
Ritchance Road (seen in photo) remains on the road works schedule for 2018 and the township will use its federal gas tax grant to cover the cost for repaving and other work on the road. Reconstruction of Ritchance is a five-year project which will be complete in 2019.