Kennedy Road and Cartier Road in Harrison Mills could be getting an upgrade from their current gravel state, depending on what Kent council decides come budget season.
In the correspondence for Monday’s council meeting (Aug. 19), Erik and Elizabeth Van Dyk, Wentworth Bjarnason, and Lhea Van Dijk wrote to share their disappointment that Kennedy Road is still not paved.
“The nature of our businesses cause a great amount of traffic using Kennedy Road, leaving road quality and dust control at less than par,” the letter reads. “While municipal works tries very hard to keep up with our road issues, gravel, grading and dust control just doesn’t keep up with the usage.”
The four farmers and business owners went on to say that dust from the road coats their crops and increases wear on their equipment, and asked the district to consider paving both Kennedy Road and Cartier Road in the near future.
During Monday night’s meeting, councillor Susan Spaeti asked what the cost would be to pave both those roads. Director of engineering services Mick Thiessen said paving both roads would cost around $185,000. (Kennedy Road alone would be $150,000.) The paving would require very little road reconstruction, but would require some reshaping of the road base.
Currently, it costs the district $5,000 a year to grade both roads and provide dust control.
“In recent years, we’ve been doing two applications opposed to one, so it is better,” Thiessen said. “However with increased traffic, and if there’s any grading that’s required in between, it does impact the dust control.
“My understanding is it is working, however, the property owner might have a different view.”
Councillor Stan Watchorn asked staff to put together a report for the district’s gravel roads, so a potential paving project for Kennedy and Cartier could be put into a long-term plan.
“My concern is that we respond simply to a letter to council, rather than putting it in our long-term development and process,” he said.
Generally, the district looks at the use of roads within its borders to see if they are candidates to be included in the five-year capital plan. For Kennedy Road, about three different properties are being served by the road, as well as the Harrison River RV and Campground.
“With the campground back there, it is quite a busy road actually, there’s a lot of traffic in and out,” councillor Duane Post said.
The decision to pave Kennedy and Cartier Roads will be delayed until the district begins looking at its budget for the upcoming five-year capital plan.
At that time, council will have reports from staff on all 14 kilometres of gravel roads in the district, and will be able to decide where priorities are for paving.