Paradise moves Kenmount repairs to top of priority list

By Mark Squibb/July 15, 2022

Paradise council has voted to bump repairs to Kenmount Road above two water and sewer projects on its 2022-2023 infrastructure priority list, though the decision was not unanimous.

Council actually voted to reorder its priority list during a private meeting June 7. Council then ratified the decision publicly during the June 14 public meeting.

Councillor Deborah Quilty brought forward the motion. She explained the Town learned on May 30 that it would have until June 10 to submit any change in its priorities for federal funding, which is actually administered by the provincial government.

The original priority list, which council agreed to on November 16, 2021, saw the Town request $8.8 million for water and sewer for Windmill Road and Bayview Heights, and water and sewer for Carberry Place and Drover’s Road, as well as Kenmount Round Upgrades Phase 1, and work on Dianne Whalen Drive Industrial Bypass Road, and Horse Cove Beach— in that order.

Council’s vote on June 7 was to bump Kenmount Road ahead of the two water and sewer projects. The change had no impact on the total amount of funds being requested.

Councillor Larry Vaters noted that “while municipalities can prioritize their funding requests, that same priority is not necessarily always followed, and ultimately rests with the provincial government.”

He added Kenmount Road is in desperate need of upgrades.

Quilty reiterated Vater’s comment.

“We could have any number of variations of this particular listing,” said Quilty. “We could have number three and four approved as opposed to number one. But that’s the funding priority list that we felt more appropriate at this time to put out to the Province.”

Councilor Glen Carew felt otherwise.

“We all know that Kenmount Road Extension is a very busy throughfare, and the times I’ve driven over it, including today, it feels like you’re driving over a washboard, but we do have funds budgeted to make some repairs there this season,” said Carew. “We did have Kenmount Road high on a federal funding priority – it sat just below the next water and sewer projects. And your Worship, we still have some residents in Paradise that do not have the basic services most of us, I guess unconsciously, take for granted, such as water and sewer. There’s a water and sewer priority list established that has been in place for many years now, and although we are making progress on that list, I can’t in good conscience be part of any delay in that progress, so I will be voting against this motion.”

Carew argued that if provincial government doles out funding using its own priorities, he didn’t see the need for council to change its list.

“But that’s just me, I’ll be voting against this motion as I did in the privileged meeting,” said Carew.

Quilty then noted the “dire state” of Kenmount Road, a road she said is used fairly often, and reiterated that regardless of Kenmount Road being bumped to first place, the province may still approve funding for the water and sewer projects first.

Councillor Patrick Martin said that there was ‘good debate’ about the matter in the private meeting.

“To be honest, we weren’t all on (the same) side of where we wanted to go with the list,” said Martin. “We tried to come up with a consensus between the members that were in attendance and those calling in on the phone, and this is basically where it sat with the majority of council and where we were going to head with priorities. Kenmount Road is atrocious right now with the state that it’s in, and in desperate need of repairs that are going to cost a lot of money. Not to say that these people do not deserve water and sewer because we all, everybody here on council, wants to get the water and sewer list done, but like it’s been said, the decision is going to be with the Province.”

Deputy Mayor Kimberley Street added that both projects were important, and she felt comfortable with the motion.

“I think for me, it’s the fact that the list hasn’t changed, in regard to what’s on the list,” said Street. “These projects, these water and sewer projects, haven’t been removed, they’re still on the list.”

Councilor Elizabeth Laurie then added her thoughts.
“Everything that we do here is about us striking a proper balance,” said Laurie. “Improving our industrial park is going to perhaps drive more businesses to that park. And with the state that that road is in over there now, I’m surprised we’re not hearing more from our tenants of those businesses that are there. And, of course, the more we have going into that park, the more tax dollars are coming out, and so I’m absolutely fine with it.”

When put to a vote, councillor Carew was the lone councillor to vote against the motion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *