A revitalization project in Lantzville’s village core is a step toward safer sidewalks.
During a meeting March 8, District of Lantzville council awarded the contract for the second phase of the commercial core revitalization project to Windley Contracting for just over $1,010,000.
The motion also included increasing the total budget for the project by $110,000 to just over $1,080,000 – with $487,500 being funded from the Canada Community Revitalization Fund and nearly $593,000 from the gas tax grant.
According to a staff report, the project will see installation of walkways on both sides of Lantzville Road between Dickinson Road and Tweedhope Road, as well as the installation of drainage swales, drainage piping, flat and mountable curbs, and landscaping areas.
“For the past four years, Mayor Swain and I have said we need safe walkways in the village,” said Coun. Ian Savage. “It’s simply not good enough to have children and mobility-challenged seniors weaving between the edge of the road, ditches, parked cars, buses pulling over, sloped commercial driveways and clumps of weeds to navigate the village.”
He continued to say that, while it was a hard decision, he wasn’t prepared to “throw away almost half a million dollars” in federal grant money, and that he didn’t think council could accomplish as much without the funds in regards to roads and road right-of-ways.
“It’s not every day you get nearly half a million dollars in grant money to go towards a project like this,” Swain added.
During discussion around the table, Coun. Joan Jones expressed concerns about possible environmental impacts caused by the proposed drainage installation and Coun. Rachelle Mundell mentioned a lack of community consultation.
“The lack of public input and the time to get input from the community around spending almost $600,000 of the community’s money seems a bit rash,” she said, adding that she agrees that walkways in the community are needed, but that “there’s a whole lot more going on beneath the surface.”
Coun. Jonathan Lerner said he worried about turning away grant money and the possible implication it may have on further federal disbursement, based on his work in the non-profit sector.
The motion passed with only Mundell in opposition.
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