Posted on 21 November 2012 by Keith Lacey
A group of neighbours from Harbour Key Drive in the Town of Osoyoos have repeated their call to town council to place them higher on a priority list for major road projects, claiming their hasn’t been a significant upgrade on this stretch of road for 40 years.
Walter Cook and Carol Boan, who are neighbours on Harbour Key Drive, both spoke to members of town council Monday, detailing their frustration with the poor state of road conditions in their neighbourhood.
Numerous neighbours signed a petition back in 2003 which detailed the poor state of this roadway and a request to have the road upgraded and paved and nothing has been done nine years later, said Boan.
It has been 40 years since Harbour Key Drive was paved, she said.
The poor condition of the road has resulted in large pools of water gathering virtually every time it rains and numerous homes shake whenever heavy trucks use the roadway because it’s in such poor shape, she said.
“I am here to ask where do we stand on the list of road improvement projects and when can we expect our road to be taken care of?” asked Boan.
Cook echoed the same objections, saying a major flood back in 1972 resulted in the town upgrading and repaving Harbour Key Drive. With the exception of a few patching jobs, there hasn’t been any significant upgrade of this road in 40 years, he said.
“There hasn’t been any substantial improvement made in that area at all since then,” he said.
Some of the homeowners on this roadway pay some of the highest taxes in the entire town and they deserve to see these upgrades done as quickly as possible, said Cook.
When the upgrades were completed back in 1972, the standards for construction weren’t as rigorous as they are today, meaning there were no provisions to include proper grading of the roadway or installation of curbs and gutters, he said.
“The road wasn’t constructed to very high standards … it slopes one way,” he said.
The result is the roadway is torn up badly and water pools in large amounts after every significant rainfall, he said.
“We need new curbs and gutters, we need repaving and some rebuilding,” he said.
The road is torn up so bad some beavers have managed to burrow under the roadway and cause further damage, he said.
Mayor Stu Wells said the concerns of neighbours are well-founded and council has placed repairing Harbour Key Drive on the town’s five-year capital projects list with upgrading this road scheduled for completion in 2016.
“There’s no argument, those are true, common- fact statements,” said Wells, responding to the presentations by Boan and Cook.
A staff report prepared a few years ago indicated it would take $500,000 to fully upgrade this road and the projected costs are likely much higher, said Wells.
“It does have a high cost factor,” he said. “I think that’s why it always gets put back (on the priority list). It’s going to be costly because it’s going to have to be repaired to today’s standards.”
Cook said he and his neighbours are not being unreasonable in their request as some homeowners on Harbour Key Drive pay some of the highest taxes in the entire town and they have been extremely patient over the past several years, waiting for these road upgrades to take place.
Boan echoed the same thoughts, saying repairs and upgrades have been badly needed for many years and homeowners in the area have shown a lot of patience waiting for the upgrades to take place.
Chief administrative officer Barry Romanko agreed the original $500,000 cost estimate made by staff several years ago is likely much higher now.
Wells said council continually reviews its five-year capital projects list and will continue to look at the list during upcoming budget deliberations.
While he wouldn’t make any promises on whether or not this project might be able to move up the list, Wells told the concerned neighbours it will be discussed during budget meetings over the next few weeks.
“I think you people have been more than fair about this situation,” he said.
Coun. Michael Ryan said he visited the area this past summer following a severe rainstorm and is fully aware of how badly this roadway needs to be repaired.
Members of council will “take a second look” at the five-year capital plan during upcoming budget deliberations, he said.