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Campbell River man blames city sewer for road conditions

Campbell River resident Richard Paquette says he has been waiting 14 years for the city to fix his street.

Paquette, who lives on Spring Road, said his road is full of cracks and potholes and the city has done nothing to improve the street.

He said the problems began after the city hooked up his neighbourhood to the city sewer line.

“Before, it used to be nice and smooth, no damage, easy to ride on,” Paquette said.

“Now it’s like a washboard. “They dug up the road 14 years ago to put in sewers. The asphalt is smashed. I want it restored to the way it was before they installed the sewer system.”

Paquette said his taxes are going up every year and he asked council at its June 10 meeting how much longer he will have to pay until the road is fixed.

“I don’t know how many more years we have to pay more taxes before we get the street back the way it was,” Paquette said.

“That whole street should have been re-paved, the way it was before it was touched.”

City Manager Andy Laidlaw said he couldn’t give Paquette a definite timeline on how long it will be until the city gets to Spring Road.

Laidlaw said when the city lost significant tax money from the mill, it had to cut back on several services, including the road overlay program.

He said re-instating the program will be up for consideration by council during 2015 budget planning at the end of the year.

“If there is funding, which I hope there will be, projects will be prioritized and if your road is one of the worst conditions – and I know there are a lot of roads in poor conditions – that work will be undertaken,” Laidlaw said. “I can’t tell you when your road is going to be done. I can tell you that until 2015, our road program is essentially for patching and dealing with potholes.”

That didn’t sit well with Paquette, who noted that the city found the money to improve the road through Willow Point.

That work was completed in 2011 with grants from the provincial and federal governments and before the city lost significant tax money from the mill in 2012.

“I’ve seen a lot done in Willow Point, that’s where a lot of our money’s ended up,” Paquette said.

Coun. Andy Adams suggested Paquette write a letter to Laidlaw requesting work be done on his road, so that it can be considered during staff’s 2015 budget preparations expected to get underway in September.

“The sooner that it gets in, the sooner it’s in the queue and it will be rated with other streets that are in need of repair,” Adams said.

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