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Blind River Council rejects $60,000 Boom Camp Road winter maintenance motion

The $60,000 would not include bringing the road up to municipal standards
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Blind River council decided at its virtual meeting Monday evening not to start winter maintenance of the Boom Camp Road.

In a report from CAO-Clerk Katie Scott it’s estimated the cost to re-open the road would be about $60,000, and would not include the cost of plowing in the winter or bringing the road up to municipal standards.

Subsequently, the cost would have to eventually be approved by council once a full engineering study is done.

She pointed out that work to improve streets particularly in the downtown business core for residents and merchants would be impacted if money is allocated to Boom Camp Road improvements.

The report came about based on concerns raised by resident Sheila Fryer who requested council reconsider its 2019 decision not to keep the almost two-kilometre roadway open during the winter season.

Council at that time decided to keep the road closed due to concerns winter plowing would further damage the seasonal road. The town’s insurer also raised concerns of potential claims resulting from it remaining open during the winter.

“I was alarmed to discover that all the Boom Camp Road, Marine Park and Youngfox trail were closed to pedestrians this year,” Fryer said when addressing council.

“COVID has increased the need for people to seek refuge in the great outdoors. The Boom Camp is accessible to seniors and people with disabilities because you can reach it in a vehicle when the road is open.”

Scott recommended the continued closure of the cemetery road as well,pointing out surrounding communities do not keep cemetery roadways open in the winter.

Councillor HP Roy asked how far the town would get to bring the road up to standard by spending $60,000 annually to allow for road improvements.

Scott responded that annual costs to keep the road open year-round would depend on the cost in findings by the town’s engineering company, Tulloch Engineering, to bring it up to municipal standards.

“From the study of the engineer, we would have a better pricing to know what council would be committing into their annual road repair upgrades to include the Boom Camp Road if it’s going to be maintained year-round,” Scott responded.

Coun. Jennifer Posteraro asked whether the motion to allocate $60,000 would have any implications on the overall road budget.

Scott said with council committing money to the Boom Camp Road it would have an impact on the overall budget. Scott said she was being “conservative” in her preliminary $60,000 cost for the engineering study.

Mayor Sally Hagman said the “silent majority” support being able to walk and take their dogs along the roadway when it is not open to vehicle traffic.

Council unanimously voted not to support the $60,000 motion.

Coun. Jim Dunbar said the issue can always be reconsidered by council in the future.


About the Author: Kris Svela

Kris Svela has worked in community newspapers for the past 36 years covering politics, human interest, courts, municipal councils, and the wide range of other topics of community interest
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