At long last, the final two construction projects for 2018 are underway!
The replacement of the Bedford St dock began on Friday. In May, the Village awarded the tender and expected work to begin after the spawning season on July 1. Although there has been a long delay, it is important to get the work completed.
Thomas Fuller Construction from Ottawa has been awarded the Main St bridge rehabilitation by the United Counties. The UCLG engineers held their pre-construction meeting with Thomas Fuller Construction on Thursday afternoon. I confirmed, once again, that one lane over the bridge will remain open during the rehabilitation. The work is expected to be completed this fall. Hopefully the inconveniences will be minimal.
Please call if you have any concerns. 9195
The work should be wrapping up soon at the waste water site. Pressure testing of the new system is expected to be completed later this week. After that successful test, the next step includes a 14 day testing period of continuous operations. If there are any major operational reasons to stop this cycle, a new 14 day testing period begins once the issue that prompted the interruption is corrected. A successful continuous 14-day period is required before “substantial performance” can be declared by the Engineering consultant.
2018 BUDGET – Village and United Counties of Leeds & Grenville
Council has held two meetings to develop the 2018 budget. As you will recall, 2017 had some unplanned incidents – i.e. the force main water break on Rideau St and the water pipe breaks on Concession St and Spring St. These and other unexpected 2017 costs must be rationalized in the 2018 budget. Our tax base is very small and that reality hits home when you consider that a 1% increase in the tax rate only increases revenue by $8000. On Feb 8, at the last budget meeting, Council asked the Treasurer to review the draft budget with a view of reducing both the general and capital budgets. This revised draft budget is on the Agenda for the Committee of the Whole meeting on February 20. The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville (UCLG) and the Board of Education have yet to inform the Village what their budgets are for 2018.
UCLG will approve its budget by mid-March and there are two projects included for Westport. The first is a major refurb of the Main St Bridge (Fish Hatchery Bridge) in 2018. The project will include a paved shoulder on the bridge, providing a safe route for pedestrians, particularly in winter. I understand that the plan is to keep a portion of the bridge open during construction. The Counties’ 2018 capital budget also includes a study of County Rd #10 from the Main St Bridge to Grady St (the top of the hill). UCLG has made the commitment to consult with the Village and Rideau Lakes Township, as part of the study, on other concerns regarding this road including considerations for alternate routes for heavy trucks. I will keep you informed on both projects.
Breakfast with the Mayor
The next Breakfast with the Mayor will occur on Wednesday, February 28 at 08:00 a.m. at the Cove Country Inn. We will have time to discuss several topics, including business preparations for Le Boat (expect the first Le Boat to arrive in the Harbour by the end of May), parking issues in the downtown and the new Heritage Walking Tour. The Cove offers a buffet breakfast at 08:00 ($10 pp). Meeting discussion begins around 08:30. Pls consider joining us and offering your thoughts.
Please call if you have any questions. 9195
After the United Counties of Leeds & Grenville (UCLG) public works did some testing this past summer/fall on the Main St Bridge, I met with a group of community members who raised their concerns about the bridge. I followed that up with a discussion with the UCLG Director of Public Works and shared with him their concerns and in particular that the Village and the public want some input, through consultation, should the rehabilitation proceed.
Clearly, one of the concerns is the public safety issue for pedestrians in the absence of a sidewalk. I was surprised to read in this week’s paper that the UCLG Manager of Public Works indicated that a decision has already been reached about the rehab and that it does not include a sidewalk.
The first of the budget meetings to debate and approve the 2018 UCLG capital budget is scheduled for February 8. It is during this meeting, and any subsequent budget meetings, that UCLG Council considers staff submissions and either approves them or asks for additional information. Be assured that no decision on the Westport Main St bridge has been made by UCLG Council.
I have asked Mr Paul Snider, CAO/Clerk for the Village of Westport, to add this item to the agenda for the February 5 Westport Council meeting. This will allow the issue of the sidewalk on the Main St bridge to be discussed by Westport Council and that I am in the position to present to UCLG Council on February 8 any resolution passed by Westport Council. Westport’s Council meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. on February 5.
I have heard from many frustrated community members since the paper was published this week and hope this update provides information in regard to the proposed rehab of the Main St bridge. Please call if you have concerns. 9195
The Counties posted the below sign last week on the n/e side of Main St bridge. There are safety concerns for anyone standing on the rocks on the hill beside the bridge due to the loose rocks. There are no concerns about the safety of the bridge.