Telkwa Council is thinking about fixing up a road after complaints about the condition of the road keeping rolling in — even though only a portion of its users are village taxpayers.
Last month, a resident of Skillhorn Road made a presentation to council and asked if improvements on the road could be made. Council asked at the August 18 meeting to have staff report back with a cost estimate on having the portion that is maintained by Village staff seal coated.
While a portion of Skillhorn is taken care of by the Village, the other part is maintained by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI). Furthermore, some residents who live in the RDBN use that road to access their properties.
Director of Operations Lev Hartfeil told council at their last meeting on Sept. 15 that he discussed the project with a representative from MOTI. He was told that MOTI has identified Skillhorn as a road they’d like to see seal coated but it wasn’t currently on the books.
Hartfeil said if the project were to go ahead, it would be managed and coordinated by MOTI, using one of their contractors and the Village would pay for a portion of the cost. He said a rough estimate for the village’s portion to be between $70,000 – $100,000 — which he added was a deal given by MOTI.
Hartfeil also suggested council approach the RDBN to share some of the cost as a significant amount of traffic on that road is used for developments outside the village boundaries.
He also noted any future development or uses of the Village’s Airport Industrial zoned land would increase traffic and further deteriorate that road.
Councillor Derek Meerdink said the village should think ahead when it comes to Skillhorn Road.
“There’s the possibility of doing some development out there for a recycling centre and if that was the case, that could be incorporated in, make it a business plan if we did have to spend some money. If we can’t find any grants, that would at least be an opportunity there,” he said.
Mayor Brad Layton agreed with Meerdink.
“There could be further development out there, plus our industrial park and our leased tenant—the attack base, is part of our property and we do receive funding from them,” he said. “We also will reduce our maintenance cost of grading it and staff time with the numerous complaints.”
Hartfeil told council the village grades it almost weekly and those maintenance costs do add up.
However, he said there was no chance of seal coating happening this year, so council felt it had time to find money and funding partners. They directed staff to continue working on the situation and Layton said he would talk to the RDBN at their next meeting.