Remember last fall when Timmins city council approved a request to perform maintenance and snow plow services to Charland and Bertrand Roads?

Well, the ripple effect is still being felt to this day as residents on another rural road want the same thing.

Residents on Kenogamissi Hydro Road were at city council Tuesday night to make a request for services.

Resident Brian Jones spoke on behalf of the owners, and commented on the saga that led to the aforementioned approval. He says it was an “amazing back and forth” among councillors.

“It’s clear that the discussions and decisions made last year changed the city’s policy on what you are going to do with the roads who are out there within city limits,” he said.

He says based on previous discussions he’s had with council members, something changed in the past year.

But he adds nobody around the table chimed in by admitting they made a mistake with the decision.

“We’re here asking, on the basis of fairness, for the same consideration,” Jones adds.

The road in question stretches about 14 kilometres and services 17 private owners of residential and seasonal homes. They say residents in the area have maintained the road at their own expense since the 1980s.

The request started discussion, and it appears councillors continue to be divided on the rural roads issue.

Councillor Veronica Farrell says she was not a member of council at the time of the Charland/Bertrand Road approval, but says she would have voted no if she was.

However with that previous approval, she adds she will support this request.

Councillor Joe Campbell says he’d like to see a report on the costs involved, as well as the location of the closest plow truck and grader.

“I suspected this would happen,” adds Councillor Pat Bamford.

He suggests instead of taking over the road completely, the city should look at a policy to take over a certain percentage of the needed maintenance.

Councillor Walter Wawrzaszek says he “doesn’t see eye to eye” with Bamford.

“I believe we’re here to provide a service, not a half a service, and that includes the whole City of Timmins, not (just) parts of it,” he says, “These are 17 owners that are out there, they’ve done the upkeep of their road and I can sit back here and say ‘Policy? Well, there is no established policy as far as I’m concerned.”

Wawrzaszek mentions other roads they’ve done work on in the past, including efforts to bring Sandy Falls Road from a Class 6 road to a Class 2.

“We spent quite a bit of money there, at least over a million dollars and probably close to two million,” he said, adding it came in handy for truck traffic while Riverside Drive was closed off during the infamous Canadian Tire stand off in June 2015.

Mayor Steve Black says it’ll be an interesting discussion over the coming weeks, noting another group is coming to council with a similar request.

This request though, will come back to a future meeting in a report.

CLICK HERE to view last night’s discussion, under Item 3C.

Filed under: Local News