Fifth Avenue paving cancelled in Burns Lake

Council will pave a longer section of Centre Street instead

In the story ‘Centre, Fifth sections to be repaved’ published in the Lakes District News’ June 21 issue, council had decided to repave sections of Centre Street and Fifth Avenue this summer.

However, after re-examining the costs, village staff determined that the cost to repave both sections would go above the village’s $160,000 yearly budget for paving projects.

“After the B.C. Bid was open, we re-examined the sites just to reconfirm that we were good on the numbers and it came up over budget,” explained director of public works Dale Ross. “The final numbers were $211,000 for those two segments.”

Village staff then suggested not paving Fifth Avenue, and paving a longer section of Centre Street instead. The original plan was to repave the Centre Street section between Home Hardware and Second Avenue; now the plan would be to repave the section between Home Hardware and Third Avenue.

This project would cost the village $158,080 and it would be completed by LB Paving Ltd., the only bidder for this project.

Councillor Susan Schienbein said council should see this project as an opportunity to add a sidewalk to Centre Street.

“We have previously determined that Centre Street is a priority for sidewalks, and I do believe that at one point in time there was a motion made by council that when we did do a paving project we would incorporate sidewalks into those paving projects,” she said.

“I’m supportive of this paving project, but I’m wondering what purpose it would be for us to embark on that without doing sidewalks at the same time for this portion,” she continued.

“I know that it would require more engineering, more planing, but my concern is that this is a roadway that we’ve identified as a high pedestrian traffic area and we have determined that we need sidewalks,” she added.

Councillor John Illes said the village could use Comfor funds to complete the sidewalk.

“Since we’re already digging out Centre Street, this is an opportunity that we can’t miss,” he said.

However, Ross suggested completing the paving project first, and then considering the possibility of adding a sidewalk.

“We have water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, so as soon as we put a sidewalk there and we have any issues with lines, it’s a high probability that we’ll have to dig out the sidewalk,” said Ross. “My opinion would be not to do it until we have enough money to replace the infrastructure properly.”

To that Susan replied, “I would agree that replacing the infrastructure would be fabulous, but my first visit to the council table was in 2002 and we never got there [to replacing infrastructure].”

“To me, this is an opportunity for us to listen to the citizens of Burns Lake who have repeatedly said that sidewalks are an issue, and I know that it might mean digging out a sidewalk here and there, but I’m at this point willing to take that risk,” she added.

Council asked staff to bring back a report with a cost estimate for adding a sidewalk to the Centre Street paving project to the next meeting.