The Town of Huntsville is expected to spend about $6.43 million on capital projects this year. More than half, about $3.6 million, is expected to go towards the redesign of Kent Park and Huntsville’s Main Street from Lorne Street to the swing bridge. You can check the link below to see if your road is on the list.
About $2.07 million of the streetscape project will come from 2019/2020 capital and gas tax reserves, about $1.52 million will come from the 2021 capital budget, and about $105,000 was already paid by the Town last year, explained Steve Hernen, director of operations and protective services for the Town.
“The reason you’re seeing the [capital] workplan now is we were waiting for the Main Street tenders to close so we’d know exactly how much funding we’d have to spend on Main Street, how much we’d have to spend on our roads projects this year,” Hernen told council at its January 25 meeting. He also noted that there are discretionary items built into the streetscape budget and depending on the amount of material used, there could still be a saving.
Kevin Boucock, operations manager for the Town, walked council through the capital projects planned for this year. Among the big-ticket items: Work to the Gull Trail Bridge for about $332,000 which was budgeted for last year but not done due to COVID; Etwell Road will get about $235,000 in ditching and culvert work; and Old Muskoka Road will get approximately $400,000 of base stabilization work done from Madill Church to Allensville Road.
Boucock told council the worksheet of capital projects planned for this year is a living document. “It’s constantly going to be changing as jobs and projects are finished and moved to the next category. A lot of this, especially like the brushing then we’ll be moving it to a ditching category and to the high float category and wherever it needs to go from there,” he explained.
Capital works for 2021 include $125,000 for brushing, $350,000 for ditching, and another $25,000 for rock clearing especially from ditches, while $1.1 million will be put into high float for roads already brushed and ditched over the last couple of years. “Gravel, we did a lot of gravel last year so we’re just going to do anything that comes up, any small jobs… for this year,” said Boucock. Another $1.1 million will be spent on asphalt on the Main Street and Kent Park project, and $80,000 will go to have part of Bayshore Boulevard paved, while the other part will get high float. Another $40,000 is planned to be spent on Greer Road and $80,000 is also planned for Highview Drive. “Part of it is getting done under a private project so we’ve piggybacked on that to get it all done at one time so we’ve got one consistent road there,” said Boucock.
Abandoned sidewalks will also be removed, according to Boucock. While others, like 400m of sidewalk along West Road from Pine Glen Public School to Tim Hortons will be replaced.
Another $300,000 will be put into preventative maintenance for crack sealing.
Hernen said there are about $7.2 million identified as required capital works “but given the limited funding we’ve picked the areas we feel that is best bang for the buck if you will.”
He said the reconstruction of Greer Road will be a major job estimated at about $1.5 million. “So we wanted to get some design work ready because we know with the federal government/provincial government they quite often come out of the gate with design-ready project funding. So we want to make sure, because that is a large project, that we do have one that’s on the shelf ready to go. If nothing materializes over the next couple of years, we’ll certainly have to move that forward anyway.”
He said grant applications are also out for the Main Street reconstruction project. “If we’re lucky enough it simply means we can move forward with some of the other projects that we’ve had to put off this year.”
To see if your road is on the list, scroll down to pages 4-7 in the staff report here (pdf).
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