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Infrastructure study finds Scugog has large roads deficit

SCUGOG: Scugog council has learned that many township roads are in poor condition and overall the roads are in a state of decline.

At a meeting on Monday, Sept. 16th, councillors were presented the results of the Township’s State of the Infrastructure Study.

“Overall the system condition is approaching poor. The average road has less than 5 years remaining service life (without funding) until it is in poor condition,” read the findings report.

David Anderson, from 4 Roads Management Services, said “about half the system is in poor condition”, later stating the percentage of roads in poor condition is 50.1 per cent.

The study found the Township’s “road network has a current deficit of $190 million.” Of that, the study estimates $138,945,370 is needed for roads deemed to need “reconstruction or major rehabilitation” now.

Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew was dismayed by the findings.

“This is not good news. We are suffering badly from the downloading [of roads] and a lack of human and financial resources to deal with our roads,” she said. “This news is even worse than we all thought.”

Ward 5 Councillor Lance Brown questioned how long it should take the township to get where they “should be” with the road situation.

“If you increase the budget, you’re still looking at probably 20 plus years,” Mr. Anderson responded.

In order to combat the declining road situation, Carol Coleman, Scugog’s director of public works, parks and recreation, recommended council consider a 3 per cent roads levy increase each year for the next 10 years. According to the report, this would “increase the capital roads budget to the capital depreciation funding level.”

“3 per cent sounds like a lot, but in talking to finance, it’s about $3.28 a month for the average home,” Ms. Coleman explained, adding it would equal to about $40 per year.

Ms. Coleman said she is not surprised by the results of this study.

“I don’t think it was surprising to anyone. I think we all know our roads, in general, are in poor condition and need to be improved,” she said. 

However, she said after reading the report, staff feels the township is “moving in the right direction”, noting the Township has been increasing the budget over the years for road repairs.

Though to get the road situation under control, Ms. Coleman said: “The simple message is we need more funding.”

Some of the other recommendations in the report include having the Township increase investment in road work by identifying efficiencies and applying for grants, and to have the Township “prioritize preventative maintenance such as hot mix resurfacing, single surface treatments, gravel road resurfacing and crack sealing.”

Scugog’s road network includes 192 km of gravel roads and 221 km of paved roads.

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