By Cole Parkinson
A resident concern around a pathway between 38th and 39th Avenue has been once again raised for Taber town council.
During council’s regular meeting on July 15, they were brought up to date on the concerns with the pathway and potential ways on how they could proceed.
“We have heard from a resident who is adjacent to a pathway on the southside a number of times over the conditions of that pathway. There is only so much administration can do with that. There is no treatment to the surface of that so weeds do grow there and we have to be fairly diligent with cutting those weeds. Mr. Scherer’s group is out there often as they can to maintain it but it is still not to the satisfaction of the adjacent neighbour,” explained CAO Cory Armfelt.
As the pathway was not in this year’s operating or capital budgets, administration was looking for council to provide direction on which way they wanted to go.
With the pathway covered in greenery, the town could proceed in a number of ways.
Currently, town staff maintains the path on a fairly regular schedule.
“We cut it about every week and a half to two weeks,” said Gary Scherer, director of public works.
While they could continue with routine maintenance, they could also convert the area to gravel which would not only reduce town upkeep but also help with drainage.
“We did get a price to replace three or four inches of gravel and the proper drainage,” continued Scherer. “The price to replace all that is $10,000.”
Council inquired as to what could be done in regard to the drainage issues around the pathway.
“Right now, it doesn’t drain that well. If you go for proper drainage, you start from one end and go to the north that goes to the cul-de-sac which is 39th. We would make sure we have a grade all the way through and re-surface with limestone product. It packs really hard, I’m not saying weeds will never grow out of it but it’s just a better product than gravel,” added Scherer.
Another option brought up was to gauge interest in selling the land to the residents with houses on either side of the path.
With that, council also questioned if the path was even needed at this point.
“We’ve had that discussion too. Would you maybe sell it to one of the residents?” asked Scherer.
“The neighbour who raised the concerns is not interested in purchasing it,” replied Armfelt.
Council understood the frustration coming from the resident after pictures of the path were shown.
“It is an eyesore, I can see that,” said Mayor Andrew Prokop. “He (concerned resident) indicates he has talked to the town on several occasions over the years and wasn’t met with satisfaction for lack of better terminology. I can see his frustrations on where he is coming from.”
Another portion of the pathway council was curious about was how often the path was used as a way to traverse quickly.
One possible factor was L.T. Westlake which is in the near vicinity and council inquired whether or not students used the path.
“My thoughts are if it isn’t a well-used path, it is a lot of money to spend for someone not to use. Perhaps we can make a deal with these landowners so they would take it on or sell it to them or whatever. That adds quite a bit to their lot and they would have a drive-through lane for an RV or something if they were to purchase that,” said Coun. Jack Brewin.
With a bunch of information up in the air, administration recommended bringing the discussion back to a future meeting in order for them to formulate a report.
“Maybe we should recommend to council that let’s do some more research on this and see if people are interested in it and bring it back for future consideration,” said Scherer. “It isn’t the school season so I do not know who would be walking through there. I would suggest let’s wait for the capital budget and bring it back with a report.”
A motion was made to direct administration to add the possible project to the 2020 capital budget and was carried unanimously.