Road plan defeated

Be­fore they approve a recommendation from staff to proceed with a five-year road management plan, Mapleton councillors want more information about what the township will be getting for the $48,000 price tag.
“It’s $10,000 a year, is what it comes down to,” councillor Mike Downey said at the March 11 meeting. For that price, Downey said he wants to know exactly what the plan entails.
According to Director of Public Works Larry Lynch, the 1999 road management plan by R.J. Burnside and  Associates is outdated.
“All bench mark costs for rehabilitation have increased significantly to the point where much of the data provided in the 1999 road management plan is completely obsolete,” Lynch said in a written report to council. The previous plan also does not deal with “indices such as structural adequacy or ride com­fort,” and because of its age, does not acknowledge high prices of cement and asphalt, he added.
Lynch explained that Burn­side is prepared to assign engineer Henry Centen, who managed the 1999 plan, to help develop the new document.
“[Centen] is familiar with our road system and has completed similar updates in neighbouring municipalities in re­cent years,” Lynch said in his report. He added that a road management plan “is the best  tool for staff to prioritize and plan for road and bridge capital works projects.”
Lynch also told council that because some geographic in­formation system (GIS) work is required before starting the new plan, and because a re­quired road tour will likely be scheduled for the spring, “There is some urgency in initiating the proposed work plan.”
Councillor Bruce Whale asked if the plan would be considered a new document or an update of the 1999 plan. Mayor John Green replied that Lynch, who was absent when the meeting was held, feels it is a new document.
 Clerk Patty Sinnamon agreed.
“I don’t believe it is [just a revision],” she said, adding that there will be extensive GIS map­ping, bore holes to look at the road base, and other studies included in the new plan.
Sinnamon said it’s proposed that about $25,000 of the overall cost would come from development charges, with the remainder coming from general taxation.
But Downey insisted, “I’d like to know what we’re getting for [$10,000 a year].” He said if the new plan will not be a lot more in-depth than the previous one, a lot of the update work could be done “in-house” by township staff, without having to hire Burnside.
When it came time to vote, Whale was in favour of proceeding with the new road plan, while Downey and councillor Dennis Craven were opposed, thus defeating the  resolution (councillor Jim Curry was ab­sent).