Despite the prospect of a tough budget coming next month, Mayor Terry French said Conception Bay South residents will see more street upgrades and new sidewalks in 2019. Council has earmarked $1 million for the work, about the same amount as it spent this past year.
“This is a significant, yet necessary investment,” said French. “Our residents are insisting on more sidewalks and improved streets. Although we are certainly feeling the impact of the economic climate, we must continue to make these important investments. We’re realigning our services to meet the needs of our residents, with safety and roads as main priorities. We want to create a safer, healthier and better community for everyone.”
Council is set to unveil the full 2019 spending and taxation plan on Monday, December 10.
French said the $1 million spent on streets and sidewalks in 2018 marked the first time an investment of that magnitude was made for road improvements. By the end of this month, the Town will have completed new sidewalk construction on Topsail Road, the Foxtrap Access Road and Roberts Road South, he noted. Those are all areas close to schools.
“Road maintenance and improvements have also been completed for many roads throughout the Town, including main roads like Legion Road, Lawrence Pond Road and Fowlers Road,” French added. “The safety of our youth, especially in school zones, is paramount. Our population continues to grow to the point where we now have nine schools, and thousands of students who travel to and from them on a daily basis, in all weather conditions. We are proud of the sidewalk advancements we’ve made this year. We’ll continue to focus on enhancing this infrastructure next year, and as part our multiyear planning. The Town is dedicated to the provision of core services and Council has worked extremely hard to ensure a high degree of service delivery in 2019, while staying within the restraints of our budget.”
French said council is using the feedback it received from residents through a telephone survey and an online, interactive budget simulator to “inform” its decision-making for the new budget.
“According to the telephone survey, when asked whether the budget should be increased, decreased or stay the same for various Town services, road maintenance and infrastructure upgrading was the biggest area of concern with approximately seven in ten residents feeling that the budget in this area should be increased,” noted the mayor. “The online budget tool also showed residents favouring an increase to the Town’s road maintenance budget.”