By Greg Price
Barnwell Deputy Mayor Darrell Turner is attempting to push ahead with road projects he feels are long overdue for the village.
During a discussion item during the Village of Barnwell’s May 18 meeting, Turner emphasized the need for 3rd and 4th Street East upgrading.
“I know I have asked to have that put in the (2017) budget and I know it didn’t make the budget, but in discussions with contractors, the prices for asphalt are pretty reasonable this year. A lot more reasonable than I think people expected. I’d like to put it out there for discussion to see if we can get one or both streets done this year,” said Turner. “We’ve put it off last year because we had other projects and this year it seems to have been bumped again, but I’d like to see it back on the table.”
Turner added he has examined 3rd Street which needs base and paving, with 4th Street likely needing only paving work.
6th Avenue was also brought up as a sore spot for roads in Barnwell, but the problem with doing work on that road for Turner is if there are thoughts of doing further development to the east, the road will have to be dug up to replace water line.
“I’m all for doing roads, but there are things we didn’t foresee like the fire hall. To me, it’s important, especial for residents who live on those streets, but getting things like a railway crossing is more important to me because it’s a safety issue. If we can afford it after the fire hall, the pathway, which is a safety thing, and the railway crossing, which is a safety thing, I just don’t want to bump those safety things for paving a road. That’s just me” said Christy Lund, councillor for the Village of Barnwell, with CAO Wendy Bateman noting the railway crossing initiative is still up in the air in its overall timeline and grant funding being available.
“I look it as, those roads over there, especially 3rd Street. Yes, it needs work, but I also look it as there are maybe eight houses on that road, so it’s not servicing a whole lot of people on that road. I realize there other people who travel that road, it’s not just the people that are on that road, but I think as much as it needs to be done, it’s still a lower priority compared to some other things that are before us,” added Eric Jensen, councillor for the Village of Barnwell.
Tuner noted the hopes of getting the railway crossing done last year along with a handicap pathway, with a piece of 12th the only thing getting done.
“There was really no infrastructure done last year at all. The grant money is still sitting there and we’re putting in for a grant for the fire hall. I think the money is there (MSI funding) and I’d like to see it getting used,” said Turner.
“Whether we do a base and pave on 3rd or pave on 4th. Let’s put it this way, I know some people may not agree with me, but I drive over it every day (3rd Street) and I know it’s the worst street we have in the village. In the winter time it’s even worse, you have an eight to 10-inch drop, on the north end of the street, there’s always that big drop. That’s pretty much why you have to dig it up at the base.”
Turner made a motion after council discussion to put out to tender a base and pave project for 3rd Street.
The motion was approved with councillor Eric Jensen in opposition. Mayor Jane Jensen was absent from the meeting.