Brakes put on road project

A plan to upgrade Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Boulevard has been shelved for this year.

Council voted 4-3 Monday to not go ahead this year with a proposed reconfiguration of the roadway from Shepherd’s Home Hardware on Mill Street to Margarieta’s Place on Okanagan Street.

The plan called for widening the sidewalks, reducing the one-way, two-lane street to one lane of traffic to provide legal parking spots, and adding a bicycle lane, though the bike lane was taken out after numerous complaints.

Mayor Chris Pieper and Councillors Sully O’Sullivan, Ryan Nitchie and Shirley Fowler voted in favour of scrapping the proposal for the time being.

“We did change the proposed scope quite a bit by removing the bike lane and removing a lot of the enhancements as far as sidewalks go,” said Pieper.

“At the end of the day, we made the decision to hold off on it.”

The project was originally budgeted for $325,000 but additional costs pushed the total estimate to more than $387,000.

The budgeted funds will be put into a reserve for use next year.

The city will put the plan back into its re-assessment of its 33-year plan and will re-prioritize everything for next year.

“I’d like to see what the new (33-year) plan looks like,” said O’Sullivan.

“Everybody was against it, there were petitions presented and people were yelling and phoning. Let’s wait and see what the hell we’re doing, put the money in reserves and maybe do it next year.”

Coun. Kelly Rowe, who, along with Councillors John Trainor and Paul Britton voted in favour of going ahead with the project, felt the plan should, at the very least, have been put out to tender.

The cost of such, she estimated, would have been between $3,000 and $5,000.

“With the economy the way it is, I think we would get a much better shake on getting that road done this year,” said Rowe.

“I think we’d get more bang four our buck this year than possibly next year or the year after.”

Council had three options on the plan before them: scrap the project, approve the new budget items pushing up the costs, or approve the original $325,000 plan without the extras.