BARRY’S BAY – The Township of Madawaska Valley (TMV) Operations Committee meeting on December 1, was chaired by Ernie Peplinski.
One of the first issues discussed was a letter from the Ministry of Transportation regarding a new Connecting Links Program. This is a $15 million annual provincial funding program for the construction and repair of roads and bridges on designated highways, such as Highway 60 through Barry’s Bay.
In a previous period of funding for this program, in the spring of 2015, the Opeongo Line between Arena Street and Mintha Street was repaved. The new period of funding for this program opened on November 19, 2015.
Operations Manager Hilary Kutchkoskie told the meeting that this funding was available, and suggested several proposals for TMV that might qualify under this program and sought feedback from the committee.
CAO/Clerk Craig Kelley explained that the program is a way for the province to occasionally help fund roads that were downloaded to municipalities.
Kutchkoskie said that should the grant applications be successful, the provincial funding is 100 per cent.
Four suggestions for Connecting Links Program
All four suggestions involved the downtown portion of the Opeongo Line in Barry’s Bay.
1) To replace the red cross walk paint with thermo plastic which would be more durable, at a cost of $1,000 per spot.
2) Traffic study for crossing lights near the Bank of Montreal.
3) Improving the areas between road and sidewalk.
4) Replace a portion of sidewalk.
Committee Chair Councillor Ernie Peplinksi said the committee should prioritize the list.
Committee Member Andy Boyd asked about the parameters of the grant and whether it could include some of the curbs that were not renewed when the new road surface was laid on the Opeongo Line. Kutchkoskie said that to lay new sidewalks the road surface would have to be ripped up since the paving machine requires one foot of clearance. Not a good idea. He suggested that the space between sidewalk and road could be improved.
Councillor Shelley Maika asked if that would include the catch basins. Kutchkoskie answered that it would.
Peplinski directed staff to cost the projects.
Committee Member Mary Rose Dawes asked if any areas in Wilno and Combermere qualified for this funding.
Kelley answered that only portions of the highway in Barry’s Bay qualify as these were the stretches of road downloaded by the province.
Get your December 9, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.