It is a core municipal responsibility and top of mind for many local taxpayers.
Potholes and bumps in the road were the main topic of discussion during a Thurlow ward public meeting last night (Tuesday)
hosted by Thurlow councillors Paul Carr and Jackie Denyes.
Residents complained about the condition of several roads, and many of the 30 in attendance worried about heavy tractor trailers
on Maitland Drive, Harmony Road, and Casey Road. Some believe the roads are being damaged by the transports and that the roads
aren’t wide enough to allow for safe walking or cycling.
A couple of people wanted paved shoulders to allow for safer walking down Highway 62 to businesses such as Walmart.
Councillor Paul Carr pointed out that the budget for resurfacing and road maintenance is increasing steadily and that parts of 10 roads
in Thurlow were in for “pave and shave” and other improvements.
Major work is planned for Mudcat Road and the Mineral Road/Maitland Drive area. $300,000 will pay for paved shoulders between
Highway 62 and Sidney Street on Maitland Drive.
To begin the meeting, Councillor Carr advised that the meeting’s focus would not be on potentially controversial proposals to change
area rating taxes to pay for fire and police service. Carr said there would be more than one public meeting coming this fall to address the issue.
Shifting who pays rural and urban rates for police and fire service will have an effect on the amount of taxes paid.
Meanwhile, Belleville council will start 3 days of discussion on its operating budget this coming Tuesday. As it stands, the draft
budget features tax rate increases running from almost 4% to a little under 3%, depending on where one lives. Last year’s operating budget
led to under 1% in tax rate decreases for some residents and under 1% tax increases for others.
Council will also discuss spending on such items as equipment for electronic voting at council meetings, proactive bylaw enforcement to
get derelict properties cleaned up, and shuttle bus service to Belleville Senators games.