A Campbell River man fed up with what he sees as city neglect was back at city hall Tuesday night wanting answers.
Richard Paquette, a Campbell River taxpayer for more than 20 years, is no stranger to the council chambers and has been asking for improvements to his neighbourhood for at least two years.
At this week’s council meeting, Paquette used his 10 minute delegation to ask council and city staff if anything is being done to repair Spring Road, where he’s lived for 21 years.
“I was told they were going to do ditch cleaning and grass cutting,” said Paquette, who hasn’t seen the city come and do either of those services. “I’ve been told ‘by this spring’, then ‘by fall’. It’s been three years now, I figured this year they’re going to do something.”
Paquette said his neighbourhood roads are riddled with nasty pot holes and broken asphalt.
“It would be nice to have these big holes repaired,” he said. “I’d like to know if (you’re going to be) doing any repairs?”
Paquette said all the city has done so far is fill a large hole below the stop sign at Spring and Park roads with gravel, which doesn’t stay intact.
City Manager Andy Laidlaw said he didn’t immediately have the information to answer Paquette’s questions, but Deputy City Clerk Tracey Bate did take down Paquette’s phone number and promised to get in touch the next day.
Paquette, frustrated by the city’s inaction, also spoke to council twice during this year’s budget planning meetings.
Although this year’s budget negotiations generated several delegations from people outraged by a 13.6 per cent residential tax increase, Paquette was the lone taxpayer to speak to council the night the tax hike was officially approved.
He said the tax increase was hard to swallow because he’s not getting anything back.
“If I would have seen some of that money in taxes I spend every year in my area, I’d be more in support,” Paquette said. “In the 21 years I’ve lived in Campbellton, every sewer is blocked up, we have no sidewalks and we’ve only had three streetlights installed.
“I’m paying almost 2,400 bucks and in those 21 years, absolutely nothing has been changed in our area.”
Although there are no specific plans for Paquette’s street, the city has been liaising with Campbellton First – a lobby group formed last year to improve the north end of town.