Second Avenue delegation won’t change council’s mind

  • Mar. 16, 2011 6:00 p.m.

A delegation to council regarding the approved Second Avenue paving project was appreciated but won’t change the minds of council, they said.

Gavin and Amy Murdoch met with council last week as a scheduled delegation with concerns over how the referendum worked along the 4100 and 4200 blocks of Second Avenue. The couple, representing the 4100 block, said it was unfair that each vote was given an equal weight, yet when it came to billing, it was not an equally weighted system, with each property owner paying according to frontage space.

They had voted no, Gavin said, but if their frontage had been smaller, of course they’d have voted yes, as it wouldn’t be as big of a cost to them.  Comparing a 13 metre frontage to their 31 metre frontage property, it’s a difference from around $6,000 to $16,000, Gavin said.

“You can’t vote one way and turn around and charge another,” Gavin said. “It doesn’t seem very democratic.”

Another concern they had was over corner lots only paying 25 per cent.  According to the Local Area Service, the town pays 50 per cent and the property owners pay the other 50 per cent. But corner lots only pay 25 per cent because they’ve also been charged for paving the side street, a concern none of the other properties have, Mayor Cress Farrow said, clarifying that concern.

The referendum was done based on how they’ve handled these referendums historically, Farrow said.

“We’ve used it in the past very successfully, since the 1970s, so to carry on the same standard, it’s the way the town has been doing business,” Farrow said.

It’s unfortunate that the couple had such a high rate, but the request for paving has been one that has come before council quite frequently, Farrow said, approximately once every two years since he’s been on council at least.

Staff may reflect on the matter to see if the policy should be cleaned up a little, but the project will still be moving ahead this spring, Farrow said. The town will be responsible for $423,350, while property owners for both blocks will be responsible for $326,850.