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October 27, 2017 8:11 pm

Sidewalks for Edgewood Terrace – Added to Budget Talks

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. –  The Parent Advisory Council for  Edgewood  Elementary have laid it out to  Prince George  City Council.  There is a  safety issue for   pedestrians   heading to  Edgewood  Elementary.

The roads in the  subdivision  are narrow,  there are no street lights.   In the winter,  obstacles such as parked vehicles and snowbanks, force pedestrians to walk on  what  has become a very busy roadway.

While the City has  developed a plan  that proposes a  sidewalk for Craig Drive,  the  Parent Advisory Council, and  Edgewood Terrace residents, say that is  not where the  sidewalk is needed as most of the traffic,  vehicular and pedestrian, uses  Churchill Road to get to the school.

With a new  subdivision  adjoining Edgewood Terrace,  adding 100 new  residences,   and  traffic from North Nechako Road ,  the  presentation  to Council calls for new sidewalks on Churchill Road  from Edgewood Elementary to   North Nechako Road,  and  on Stevens Drive  from  Churchill Road to Brink Place.

Installing  a raised sidewalk with curb, gutter and  catch basins  on the north side of Churchill Road   is estimated to cost $240 thousand dollars.    That is  just  shy of the  $250 thousand dollar annual budget  for  sidewalk upgrades in the  entire City,   “This conversation can’t go anywhere until that  number ( budget) is changed” says Councillor Jillian Merrick .  She says  a recent proposal  to the Finance and Audit Committee calls for $2 million dollars to be  ear marked from the roads  budget  for parks trails and sidewalks.

Councillor Brian Skakun  says the City approved expansion in the area when it approved the new Nechako View subdivision,  and has a responsibility   to build  the  sidewalks  “I think it is incumbent on us to do something much sooner than later.”   He  suggests some of the dollars collected through development cost charges  be  put towards the Edgewood  sidewalk project to  try and get the work  done  in 2017.

Councillor Albert Koehler  wanted to know  if residents would be prepared to ” look at a long term tax levy.  Somebody has to pay and it can’t always be the City.”  That sounded  very close to suggesting a Local Area Service  agreement where  area  residents  agree to pick up a share  of the cost of a new  service.  That would be a tough sell says  Dave Dyer, the City’s  General Manager of Engineering and Public Works “It’s a lot more difficult  for sidewalks to figure out who should be paying.  The sidewalk  is on one side and   people using it  are beyond the actual development  and its actually the whole neighbourhood that benefits.”

But Edgewood Terrace is not the only neighbourhood asking for  sidewalks.  Mayor Hall says there have also been  requests from those living in the area of Hart Highlands Elementary.

Budget deliberations are set for late  January and early February, and  Administration  has been asked to add this project to the mix of proposed projects  to be discussed at that time.



Of course this should be a local area improvement tax. If the area wants it so bad then they should vote on it.

Why is this a hard sell?

Why is there the double standard? When the city upgraded the sewer system in the Hart it was a local area improvement and how is this any different? If they didn’t pay for it when the area was developed and they got the tax break then, why should the rest of the city be subsidizing them now?

If it was that big of an issue they didn’t have to buy in that area to begin with.

I think the city better open their wallets to support the Hart Highlands sewer project before they worry about sidewalks. The city is also double dipping on charging labor to the homeowner for installing sewer when their wages have already been budgeted for. Also why is the homeowner being charged for upgrading 40 year old water lines and pavement?

It was always the case that the homeowners paid. Case in point: In the 60’s I bought a home where the developer installed the water & sewer lines and then paved the road. I paid for my share in the cost of the lot. Other developers did not install water, sewer and paved roads and people bought those lots because they were cheaper. Now they want the rest of the city to pay so they can have what we paid for up front. Plus if my water or sewer lines need repairs I have to pay for the repairs. It use to be that you even had to pay for the repaving of the road in front and for sidewalk & sidewalk repairs.

Go Edgewood parents. You got the School District/Board to reverse a stupid decision and I hope you get the City to recognize that this area needs sidewalks.

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