Written by Shanna Empey on Wednesday, 22 July 2015
The Town of Gull Lake recently released the results of their Community Needs Assessment Survey.
A set of five concerns were brought to the attention of council, that included sidewalk installation and repairs, the establishment of a dangerous goods/heavy truck route, improved street lighting, and to pursue the development of commercial or industrial subdivisions. Mayor Blake Campbell says road repair was a top concern among residents.
“We do have an infrastructure base tax that helps us to undertake a paving plan, so we’re working on that, but like every other community we kind of struggle a bit with infrastructure and roads. I think what we learned from that is that we have to look at other solutions to help keep our roads in good condition, beyond just paving. There are some alternatives out there to help keep some of our aging roads, but the real challenge is we need infrastructure funding.”
Campbell adds Council will evaluate current the paving program on an ongoing basis and will need to take advantage of Federal or Provincial infrastructure funding when some become available.
As for the dangerous goods/heavy truck route, the province announced yesterday they have contributed $1 million that covered 30 per cent of the project costs. The Town has agreed to a financial contribution of $200,000 payable in annual instalments of $10,000 to help towards the paving costs of Green Terminal Road in Gull Lake.
“Over the last number of years, we’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of heavy truck traffic that has come through town, particularly our concern around that surrounded with dangerous goods. The heavy traffic brings some challenges of its own. One is we have issues with jake brakes, we get cracks in the street along the truck route that eventually start wearing thin, and then houses start to shake,” explained Campbell. “Residents have had an increasing concern with the amount of heavy traffic. Over the years we’ve done a number of initiatives and we’ve worked closely with the RM of Gull Lake and the Ministry of Highways to try and get a heavy truck and dangerous goods bypass, and that recently became a reality.”
Crews began work mid-June and finished July 17. The finished truck route connects the TransCanada to Highway 37 that leads to a border crossing with the United States.
In the last few years, business owners in Gull Lake have been looking to expand or grow their business beyond what it currently is, but Campbell says they currently face the problem of having no industrial lots for sale. “We are completely full, so we need to look at other opportunities to be able to look down the road at building a commercial/industrial subdivision. We are looking at some opportunities right now, and we want to engage our local businesses to see exactly what the need is. We’re going to be having an open house and inviting those businesses in the second Tuesday of September, and we’ll have more details on that as we get closer.”
This isn’t the first time Gull Lake residents have taken a survey to address community needs. The last one was over garbage disposal, and when the Council renegotiated the garbage contract and put it out to tender, they abided by the results of the survey.
“I’m becoming quite a fan of polling. I think it’s a great way to connect with people. Quite often when you’re on the Town Council, you don’t often see members of the public. I think it’s just a great way to reach out on some things and find out what the community is thinking and find out what exactly they want,” added Campbell.
Campbell says out of the results of the survey, the Council will be focusing on sidewalk installation and repairs, improved street lighting, and to pursue the development of commercial or industrial subdivisions. A committee has been formed, and they will be reassessing these issues during each meeting to look for potential solutions.
via Local News http://ift.tt/1KoBIX4