The public works department in the Municipality of Powassan is being asked to come up with an action plan to improve sidewalks in Trout Creek.
Coun. Randy Hall raised the issue at Tuesday's regular council meeting.
Hall told his council colleagues that after driving around Trout Creek, he believes more than half the sidewalks in the community are undermaintained.
Of particular concern is the state of the sidewalks along Highway 522.
Hall says the sidewalks are still there but are overgrown and “not much of the concrete is showing.”
He has spoken directly with residents who live on Highway 522 and said “often the first or second thing people were concerned about was getting sidewalks back up to standards.”
Hall says it may not be an issue during the year when there is no snow.
But in the wintertime, he says some residents who live on Highway 522 end up walking alongside the highway to get into town, because the sidewalks on that section have not been maintained.
Hall wants action on the sidewalks before next year's October municipal election because, as he put it, he doesn't “want to dump something on the incoming council.”
He says starting work on an action plan earlier than later also gives the municipality time to keep an eye out for government infrastructure programs, so it can share the costs of the repair work.
Hall says he and the municipal engineer also have had discussions with the Ministry of Transportation on the state of the sidewalks on the west side of the Trout Creek Community Centre.
He says the discussion centred on whether the municipality or the MTO would be responsible for the sidewalk maintenance in that part of the community.
“We haven't come up with who's paying what,” Hall informed council on the talks with the MTO.
But with the possibility that the MTO could cover some of the work, Hall says now is a good time for the municipality to prepare the action plan so the necessary work by all parties can begin next summer.
Coun. Dave Britton, who is council's representative on the public works committee, plans on raising Hall's request for an action plan at the next committee meeting, with the goal of creating a budget for the sidewalk work next year.
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