By Mac Christie, Times-Advocate Staff
VARNA – The Municipality of Bluewater heard a presentation from residents of Durand-Huronview Road at its regular council meeting Oct. 15, asking the municipality to pave their road.
The group, represented at council by John Brooke, a year-round resident of the area, told council that since Durand-Huronview and the roads it supports have a large number of residents, it should be paved.
Brooke presented a petition to council in favour of having the road paved, signed by 83 residents of the area, which he said was a majority.
Seven roads west of Highway 21 had been designated for paving previously by council through an OMAFRA grant, including Sararas, Schadeview, Danceland, Staffa, Centennial, Blue Bluff and Crystal Springs roads.
In a letter to council Dan Hood, the president of the Durand-Huronview Cottagers Association noted there are 53 residences that rely on Durand-Huronview, which is more than all but one of the roads slated to be paved.
Brooke noted the petitioners feel roads should be paved based upon volume.
“We have young people living there who are going back and forth to work,” he said of Durand-Huronview. “So we have people working down there who need that road and need it in good shape.”
“Durand-Huronview is a high-volume road,” he continued. “There are a lot of people using that road.”
He also noted the road has school bus traffic, compared to others which do not, adding the safety of school children should be paramount.
However, Stanley East Coun. Dave Roy said buses get down gravel roads throughout the rest of the municipality every day.
Brooke also added the area has a sizeable tax base and the road is the only service the area really gets from the municipality.
Hay West Coun. John Gillespie noted he found the logic compelling in regards to tax assessment.
“I think it should be put on the list of roads to be paved in the budget considerations for 2013,” he said, noting he’s not convinced the municipality should pave it instead of the roads already slated for paving.
However, Deputy Mayor Paul Klopp said the roads that were to be paved had to receive final approval from council, leaving little room for flexibility.
“It you wrote down you were going to do this work, that’s how it was going to be done,” he explained.
Hay East Coun. John Becker noted the road needs to be studied to learn what will be needed to pave it.
“I’m in support of it being paved, but I want to know how much it’s going to cost to put the pavement down,” he explained.
Bluewater chief administrative officer Steve McAuley noted there is a roads study under way for roads west of Highway 21, which public works manager Dave Kester said should be ready in the next month.
Zurich Coun. Janisse Zimmerman noted she was comfortable in justifying the concession roads to be paved as a place to start.
“I’m relying on (the roads report) to give us a lot of information on how we’re going to start paving and fixing up roads,” she said.