The Shopping Centre solution

Kevin Curley
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Town will pay for repairs and bill businesses for cost

The Town of Clarenville appears to have found a solution for the Clarenville Shopping Centre parking lot.
At their regular meeting last week, councilors were in favour of a plan that would see the town pay for the cost of repairs, and the businesses foot the bill through a levy to recoup the cost of the work.

The Clarenville Town Council figures it will cost over half a million dollars to repair the Clarenville Shopping Centre parking lot. Since this photo was taken in February, the potholes have been filled in, but the parking lot needs an extensive rebuild. 

The Town of Clarenville appears to have found a solution for the Clarenville Shopping Centre parking lot.

At their regular meeting last week, councilors were in favour of a plan that would see the town pay for the cost of repairs, and the businesses foot the bill through a levy to recoup the cost of the work.

Mayor Fred Best summed up the plan like this: “So what we do now is give a full assessment of what’s got to be done. Get a cost and divvy up what the cost will be to each property owner will be based on square footage. Then get a meeting together and try to get this thing moving. The next step would be to talk to property owners about how to finance it.”

There are 11 businesses (property owners) currently in the shopping centre.

While there are still some questions surrounding the plan — such as how to recoup the funds from a business that might go under — the idea is that the funds would be returned to the town over a period. The time frame of 10 years was used as an example.

Bob Hiscock, the town's chief administration officer, said the big question is whether or not the town can remove itself as owners of the parking lot, something the it has been attempting to do since the 1980s.

“I don’t know how realistic it is, for the simple reason the building is owned by 11 different people,” he told council at last week’s meeting . “They would have to come together as an incorporated body to do that. Some business owners are small and some are large. The question would be how much responsibility does each owner have?”

The goal right now, however, is to bring the parking lot up to an acceptable standard. Engineers have run a camera through the pipes that run beneath the lot, and are taking soil samples as part of the assessment of the infrastructure.

“It’s no good to take the pavement off and put new pavement on if the sub soil is insufficient,” said Hiscock. “We are doing some testing to see how much will be replaced.”

At the moment, the estimate for repairs is $600-700,000.

“If we find out the subgrade and storm system has to be replaced it ‘s going to be significantly higher,” said Hiscock.

The shopping centre parking lot has been deteriorating for several years and over this past winter it rapidly worsened, with large potholes developing throughout the lot.

Public complaints increased earlier this year after an elderly lady tripped in one of the potholes and fell, hitting her face and causing a gash above her eye. 

Organizations: Clarenville Shopping Centre

Geographic location: Clarenville

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