Operations manager Jeff Hawley emphasizes the next phase of downtown revitalization is about much more than parking lots. He says there are water and sewer lines underneath parts of the city's downtown, which are made of clay and cast iron that date back to 1900, and they need replacing. Hawley also underlined water fees from ratepayers are kept in a separate account, in order to pay for these repairs, instead of new parking lots.
Hawley adds driver's don't have to fear another roundabout. A second one is being proposed for Park Street, as part of the next phase of downtown revitalization. Hawley says another roundabout will further reduce traffic congestion in the city's downtown in the busy summer months. He reminds drivers of the stop lights at the subway -- and the long lines of traffic waiting for a green light -- before the first roundabout was installed a decade ago.
The 2019 approved capital budget reflects a downtown revitalization project totaling $6.255 million. The project was to be funded as follows:
- Sewer & Water Reserve Funds $1.395 million
- Municipal Reserves $2.860 million
- Government Funding $2 million
Ratepayers will contribute directly to the project through property taxes, which formed the municipal reserves, as well as water and sewer rates, which pay for the sewer and water reserve funds. These account for $4.255 million of the $6.255 million total.
The province has already contributed $1 million towards the total, and FedNor has been asked to contribute another $1 million towards the total.
Council is waiting for a response from the federal government and FedNor. If all falls into place, construction could begin in the spring.
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