Council pre-approves Cork Street road work ahead of budget deliberations

KENILWORTH – The 2023 budget has yet to come before council, however the rehabilitation of Cork Street in Mount Forest has been pre-approved with an $862,000 budget.

“This is a large ask,” councillor Sherry Burke said during a Feb. 6 meeting, questioning the need to pre-approve the work.

Township operations director Matthew Aston told council a section of Cork Street, between Waterloo and Princess streets, is “in need of development.”

A new sidewalk to promote walking along that section of Cork would connect Dublin, Waterloo, Cork and Princess streets, Aston noted in a report to council.

Curb and gutter work will improve water management, water flow for fire has been identified as a concern, and the road condition is worsening, Aston added.

The financial breakdown is $507,000 for the road, $297,000 for water and $58,000 for sewers.

Township budget approval could take until April, so Aston said the work should be tendered before schedules fill for construction companies.

Burke then questioned the logic of seeking pre-approval on the Cork work specifically.

CAO Brooke Lambert explained that because of the “need and size of the project,” compared to smaller capital projects, it may be challenging to find available contractors once construction season begins.

“That’s why this particular project is coming forward at this time,” she said.

According to township finance director Farhad Hossain, the budget will come before council toward the end of February.

“Based on the feedback we get it could be as early as the first meeting of March or towards the last meeting of March; that’s the timeframe we are looking into,” Hossain said of the pending budget’s approval.

Aston said “pretty firm” designs have yet to be finalized through February, and he told the Advertiser the project is likely to go to tender in mid-March.

Council granted pre-approval of the project in a vote.