You may recall that in the debates running up to the 2011 municipal election, I spoke and wrote of my desire to engage the public on questions of public interest such as streets, sidewalks, water and sewer. One of those public-engagement sessions happened on October 30th.
The District booked the Little Prairie Elementary School gym to meet the public on the question of rehabilitating the streets in the Rodeo Subdivision. Urban Systems, a major engineering and planning corporation, was contracted to lead us through a discussion of feasible options. We wanted to hear directly from the residents the nature of the improvements that you would like to see over the next years.
Rodeo Sub street improvements already are in the planning stages. Clearly, significant planning has to happen prior to any public presentation. District engineering staff requires well-developed plans of what can or cannot be done given the existing layout of streets and other infrastructure. Urban Systems has conducted surveys of the drainage patterns and prepared concept drawings of two options that the District could pursue.
One option would involve the rebuilding of all streets with proper drainage through a system of interconnected ditches leading to an outfall into Centurion Creek. The other option would see streets built to the same high standard but with under-street drainage, curbs, and sidewalks. While both options result in smooth and level streets, option one retains the ditches. Obviously (or not) option one and option two cannot mix on the same street.
Option one can be done at no additional cost to the property owner but option 2 would require significant additional funding from each lot. The additional cost could be added to the tax bill for each property over a number of years. Cost-saving variations to option 2 can be visualized: sidewalk on only one side; pavement with painted walking lanes.
District Council is embarking on a major program to systematically rehabilitate all of the District streets – a program that will occupy ten years or more. Hence, the need to get the planning right in the beginning. Rehabilitation of streets that cannot wait is already scheduled. These include 40th (2013) and 41st (2014) in the Rodeo Grounds, 45th (2015) in Clairmoor, and 44th and 45th (2016) in the Legion Subdivision.
If you reside in the Rodeo Grounds area, you may obtain a copy of the October 30th presentation and a brief questionnaire from the District Office. Paul Gordon, Manager of Public Works Operations (250-401-4100) may be able to answer other questions.
A note of interest for history buffs: The streets of the Rodeo Grounds were laid out and built to a rural standard before the area was incorporated into the District of Chetwynd. Consequently, Chetwynd has inherited the problems that exist there. Your suggestions for improvements will assist District staff and Mayor and Council to decide on the best remedies. Whatever the remedy, it will take time to rebuild the streets and drainage system.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor