Pickering

Capital works program to include Pickering Dr. project

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A pair of big ticket items have been approved as part of the town’s $8.2 million capital works program, but not all members agreed on what roads should be done.

A debate was held during last Tuesday night’s budget deliberation session at town hall as to whether to do projects pertaining to Pickering Dr. or to resurface Angstrom Cr.

Capital works projects were debated as part of last Monday and Tuesday night’s budget session. Pickering Dr. will get some work this year, including the intersection of Pickering and Sandwich (pictured).

Capital works projects were debated as part of last Monday and Tuesday night’s budget session. Pickering Dr. will get some work this year, including the intersection of Pickering and Sandwich (pictured).

The town would agree to keep Pickering Dr. in the budget with that including resurfacing the road from King St. to Dalhousie St. and doing a watermain at the same time. Work at the intersection of Pickering Dr. and Sandwich St. S. is also planned for 2017.

Councillor Rick Fryer indicated he would rather see work performed on Angstrom Cr. this year, noting the street in the Pointe West subdivision has been in need of repair since 2005. He said there were 99 pictures sent to him of the condition of the road.

“There’s more gaps in that road than in any small street in Amherstburg,” Fryer contended. “I’m advocating for the road to be put somewhere into the budget.”

Fryer indicated he was willing to forgo the Pickering Dr. work for a year to get the work on Angstrom Cr. done.

Manager of engineering and operations Todd Hewitt said traffic counts factor into decisions and that Pickering Dr. is in poor condition as well as Angstrom. He said Pickering Dr. has significantly more traffic than Angstrom Cr.

Councillor Jason Lavigne said the town faces millions of dollars in road repairs and wondered if following up on the audit and finance committee’s suggestion to borrow money at low interest rates for some of the projects might be a way to go. The town’s approach to use money from the two per cent levies on road repairs would take “a 1,000 years to do,” he worried.

“Are these roads going to get done with the way we are doing business now?” asked Lavigne.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said funding of infrastructure is a big issue with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).

“Every municipality, not just Amherstburg, is in the same situation,” said DiCarlo.

DiCarlo continued by saying AMO is pressing upper levels of government for assistance.

“Without their help, we are going to be playing catch-up and trying to do what is coming up at the same time,” the mayor said.

Lavigne said he agreed with DiCarlo “100 per cent” but “we may be in the grave” waiting for help from the federal and provincial governments. He was also in favour of keeping the Pickering Dr. in the budget, particularly after learning the road reconstruction was being done the same time as the watermain.

“I don’t want to go to jail,” he remarked, in reference the province’s stringent rules relating to municipalities and their responsibility to keep water safe.

CAO John Miceli said the town keeps adding to its capital budget with it being at $8.2 million this year. If the town were to look at a “hybrid model” and try to borrow to do some projects, it would be a one-time capital infusion and not all of the work would be done.

Fryer believed it was “asinine” that people who pay the taxes like they have in Pointe West can’t get service, adding he has been told the condition of the road could lead to litigious situations.

Public works officials said Angstrom Cr. is not listed in the “now” category in terms of repairs and is listed in the 6-10 year category in terms of priority.

Director of planning, development and legislative services Mark Galvin told town council that liability increases with the number of vehicles that travel certain roads and said municipalities follow roads needs studies because unbiased firms give their assessments on the priorities. Miceli said council risks being scrutinized by ratepayers and even lawyers if the town goes out of order on the roads needs study, adding the town can walk into a court of law if need be and defend itself using the study.

Councillor Rick Fryer said he wanted to see Angstrom Cr. reconstructed this year. The street is located off of Pointe West Dr.

Councillor Rick Fryer said he wanted to see Angstrom Cr. reconstructed this year. The street is located off of Pointe West Dr.

“We can defend ourselves because we have a roads needs study to identify priorities,” said Miceli.

Hewitt also noted that if projects were deferred, it could lead to other delays with future projects.

The Pickering Dr. resurfacing is pegged at $200,000 this year with work on the Pickering Dr./Sandwich St. S. intersection calling for $337,700 this year and $412,300 next year in funding. The intersection improvements call for replacement of a traffic signal control cabinet, upgrades to the existing controller cabinet, the replacement of poles, signals and wiring where required and improving curbs, sidewalks and other amenities to meet accessibility requirements.

Angstrom Cr. is projected to be a $500,000 project.

Town council voted 4-1 to go ahead with the budget as recommended with DiCarlo, Lavigne and councillors Leo Meloche and Diane Pouget voting in favour. Fryer was opposed. Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale and Councillor Joan Courtney were not in attendance.

New condo project officially launched in Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A new condominium project has officially been launched in Amherstburg.

The South Pointe Condominiums are now officially on the market with the new six-floor development being proposed for 182 Pickering Dr., next door to the Wesview apartment building. The building is being developed by John Lajoy and Steve Newman with John D’Alimonte of Re/Max Realty and Ron Deneau of Bob Pedler Real Estate Realty handling the sales.

The marketing campaign for the new South Pointe Condominium development has been launched. From left: John D'Alimonte and Steve Blais from Re/Max Realty, developer Steve Newman, developer John Lajoy and Ron Deneau of Bob Pedler Real Estate.

The marketing campaign for the new South Pointe Condominium development has been launched. From left: John D’Alimonte and Steve Blais from Re/Max Realty, developer Steve Newman, developer John Lajoy and Ron Deneau of Bob Pedler Real Estate.

The new building will have 26 units with the possibility of a 27th unit. D’Alimonte indicated the zoning on the property suits the new development.

“Everything is done. The site plan is completed,” he said. “We are now going into the marketing phase.”

Deneau spoke highly of the look of the building, noting the floor-to-ceiling windows and style of the proposed structure.

“There’s been nothing built like this in town,” said Deneau. “It’s got a Toronto flare to it.”

“It’s a contemporary design that is trending in other communities,” added Lajoy.

Deneau said home values are starting to move up and that could allow the condominiums to be attractive to homeowners and renters.

Lajoy pointed out he and Newman own adjacent property, the former Wesley United Church lands at 365 Sandwich St. S. He said what attracted them to propose building a new condominium development on Pickering Dr. is that there appeared to be a need for it within Amherstburg.

“We had heard and seen there was a lack of new residential condominiums in town,” said Newman. “It comes right at you.”

“There hadn’t been a new development here for several years,” added Lajoy.

Prices start at $229,900 with Deneau noting many will range in the mid-to-upper $200,000’s. The average size of a unit is around 1,200 square feet with some going as high as 1,608 square feet.

As for when shovels will go into the ground, Lajoy indicated that is dependent on sales as the building will begin after 60 per cent of units have been sold. There will be an information session Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. at Riccardo’s Italian Restaurant, with those interested in attending having to pre-register first.

People can register by going to www.southpointecondos.ca.

Newman added they have been using local firms on the project, including engineers and architects from the Windsor-Essex County area.

“There’s really strong local talent,” he said.