After being delayed by COVID-19 in 2020, Sundridge is expected to be able to rehabilitate one of its high-volume streets this year.
Mayor Lyle Hall says Mill Street is a relatively small street compared to other routes in town, but it sees a lot of vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
A staff report shows Mill Street experiences washouts, has poor drainage, it heaves in places and is dotted with potholes.
The village has budgeted $420,000 for the work, but Hall points out the actual cost is not yet known because the request for proposals is still to be issued.
In addition, Hall has asked staff to investigate the cost of adding a sidewalk to Mill Street.
The mayor says Sundridge has been fortunate over the past few years by being able to increase its reserves, meaning it can pay cash for some of the projects like Mill Street, “so we don't have to wait for the government to come through on funding.”
Hall says the village's reserves are “north of $1 million, which is pretty good for a small municipality.”
As well, Sundridge also can apply gas tax money to the Mill Street work.
In addition to Mill Street being on council's radar, there are two other streets Hall and council would also like to see work done on this year.
They are Anderson Street and the east side of Main Street.
However, despite its healthy reserves, Sundridge has only so much money it can spend on road work.
“The east end of Main and Anderson will take many millions of dollars of work and we don't have enough cash on our own,” the mayor admits. “If we don't get money from the federal or provincial governments, these projects won't go forward.”
Hall says the engineering work for these streets was done last year.
Meanwhile, the Mill Street project is one of several the community has planned for this year.
“We also want to expand the parks system,” Hall says. “We have four places in town that are open spaces and one we're focusing on is on Edgar Street. It's not particularly attractive now.”
But Hall says it will be once the work is done.
When complete, he says the park will have walking trails, a metal swing set, a picnic area and basketball court.
“For years, we've been concerned about our young people who don't have a place to go or play,” Hall concedes. “It used to be road hockey and now it's basketball on the streets.”
Hall says the village has been putting money away for this project for years, and the cost falls in the $142,000-to-$145,500 range.
“This is going to be a beautiful addition to our town,” he says. “It's challenging keeping our young people entertained. This is a positive direction for kids to use their energy and have some fun.”
Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget