Mayor hears good feedback from others on summer repairs
A woman living in a Torbay subdivision is not impressed by the town’s efforts to fill potholes in her neighbourhood.
© — Submitted photo
Torbay resident Dana Kelly says the town needs to repave Western Island Pond Drive. Last month, the pothole pictured here damaged one of her vehicle’s tires. She was recently informed the town will not compensate her for the damage and that it relies on residents to report hazards on local roads. The pothole still had not been filled as of Wednesday.
Six weeks ago, a pothole on Western Island Pond Drive damaged a tire on Dana Kelly’s vehicle.
“It’s a constant problem,” she told The Telegram Wednesday. “If you come down, literally, the road is crumbling. It’s funny, because we (joke) down here that they’re putting cold patch (for asphalt repair) in, but there’s no pavement to connect it to.”
Kelly contacted town hall to see if the town would pay for her tire. After receiving no response, she sent an email on July 24.
This week, she received a letter from the town’s chief administrative officer, Dawn Chaplin.
Chaplin said the town cannot compensate Kelly for the damaged tire, noting it is not legally obligated to do so.
“In your case, we have no record of a report being lodged with the town as to the existence of the pothole,” Chaplin wrote in a letter dated Aug. 18. “Unless the town is advised of a particular road hazard it cannot take action to effect repairs or erect hazard signs. The town has no program in place with respect to the regular monitoring of roads for potholes and it is not required to do so. More importantly, it cannot afford to do so. As such, the town must rely upon members of the public reporting certain road hazards, such as potholes.”
Meanwhile, the pothole on Western Island Pond Drive remains unfilled four weeks after Kelly emailed the town. She said town staff have been in the area on several occasions for work and should have noticed it ages ago.
“For them to say they didn’t know about it is hilarious,” she said. “They’ll patch one part and then across the street there’s another three parts that need to be done and they don’t get done. It just doesn’t make sense.”
According to Mayor Ralph Tapper, staff are out and about in the community on a daily basis, and if major damage is noticed, staff will make note of it and action will be taken.
Kelly has lived in the neighbourhood for seven years and claims Western Island Pond Drive has not been repaved in more than a decade, although some sections have been cut out and repaved this year.
Tapper said more money has been spent this summer on Western Island Pond Drive, noting it is one of the community’s high-end subdivisions. But there are limits to what the town can do, he added.
“We just can’t up and take another $100,000 or $200,000 out of our budget, because this is not budgeted this year,” Tapper said.
He said development in the area is taking place in phases and is ongoing, with heavy equipment still using the road, and traffic of that nature takes its toll.
“Even with the work we’ve done this summer, we’ve gotten some very positive feedback from residents on that street and in that subdivision with what we’ve done.”
When work begins in the fall on the next municipal budget, the town will look at what work needs to get done and prioritize accordingly, Tapper said. A consultant assists the town with prioritizing roadwork, he added.
“Then this street will be looked at again, and hopefully we’ll be able to accommodate it.”
Kelly recently started a petition calling on the Town of Torbay to repave roads in her subdivision. It had 16 names attached to it as of 9 p.m. Wednesday.
“Since I’ve been here in 2007 ... my taxes have (more than) doubled, and what am I getting for it? Nothing. I paid $3,300 in taxes. I don’t have water and sewer. We don’t have sidewalks. We get snowclearing, yes. But they have a $7-million budget. They should be able to fix a road.”
Kelly sent Chaplin and Torbay council members an email Wednesday in response to the letter she received. In it, Kelly requested that its contents be tabled at the next public council meeting.
Chaplin replied to the email Wednesday afternoon to confirm it will be tabled at the Sept. 2 council meeting.