McIvor, Holly Hills residents catch a break

Campbell River made moves Monday to help a couple of residents who have made multiple pleas for assistance

Council made moves Monday to help a couple of residents who have made multiple pleas  for assistance.

Katie Denne, who has seen her family’s heritage farm flooded out, has spoke to city council twice to ask for help with inadequate ditching.

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, on behalf of himself and all of his McIvor Lake neighbours, has attended several council meetings over the past few years to ask council for a safe, drivable road.

During financial planning Monday, council approved spending $75,000 from the capital works reserve to pave McIvor Lake Road, with the expectation that the neighbours will chip in $25,000.

Council also approved $540,000 worth of Holly Hills improvements, with $360,000 to come from the storm parcel tax and $180,000 to come from the community works fund.

The project will involve ditch work in the Holly Hills area and possibly on Coulter and Vigar roads.

Denne asked council during its first financial planning meeting in early December to make Holly Hills a priority during budget planning.

“Over five of our eight-acre pasture is flooded throughout most of the year. The water draining from the Holly Hills subdivision doesn’t follow the ditches, instead it moves along our pasture, blanketing it. The constant water is rotting our fence posts, killing our trees, drowning our pasture grasses, submerging our bridges and causing dangers for ourselves and our animals,” Denne said. “Please make us a priority in your financial planning. Don’t let the time, effort and money that’s already been spent go to waste.”

Last year, the city had put money aside to improve the ditch and culvert system on Woodburn Road and re-route the drainage ditch from the centre of Denne’s farm to the eastern edge.

However, the two asking prices the city received to do the work were too high and the project will have to be put out to tender again.

Ron Neufeld, the city’s general manager of operations, said he believes the prices won’t be as high this time around because the tenders can be put out sooner, leaving enough time to have the work done within a window established by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to avoid disturbing fish habitat.

“We are in a better position this year in that the design work is ready and we can get the tender out pretty quickly once the budget is approved,” Neufeld said.

Dr. Tabarsi also recently spoke to council about his plight, and urged council to pave the last 500 metres of McIvor Lake Road which serves roughly eight residences.

Tabarsi showed a slide show of photos to council at its Jan. 20 financial planning meeting, showing numerous potholes all over the road.

Tabarsi in the past has compared the road to the surface of the moon and has told council he has had to drive on the wrong side of the road to avoid the potholes.

Tabarsi said the city should be providing him with a drivable road as he’s paying taxes at the city mill rate. On Monday, council did something about it after city staff ranked paving McIvor Lake Road as a high priority for 2014.