After a lengthy discussion following last week’s council meeting, Moosomin town council decided they would proceed with paving Dorchester Place this fall, with the exception of a portion of the street in front of one property in which the property owners at that location are unwilling to pay.
Council was approached by Dorchester Place property owner Bill Thorn a few months ago with the proposal that he speak to all 20 property owners on Dorchester Place about covering part of the cost of paving the street, with hopes of having the street paved this fall.
Council agreed to the proposal, and has received payment up front from 19 of the 20 property owners on Dorchester Place, with 19 of the 20 property owners willing to have the street paved this fall. The town has agreed to cover 50 per cent of the cost of paving and 100 per cent of the cost of curbing, with the property owners responsible for the other 50 per cent of the cost of paving.
However, with only one property owner unwilling to cover their cost of paving, and 19 property owners paying up front, mayor Larry Tomlinson says the town was left in a tough situation.
“Everything was 100 per cent up front except that one lot, and they don’t want anything to do with it and they don’t want us to talk to them about it,” says Tomlinson. “We didn’t know what else to do.”
Tomlinson says the property owners emailed the town telling them they did not want to the town to contact them about paving Dorchester Place, and if they did, they would hire a lawyer, citing harassment.
He says the town discussed paving the street under the Local Improvements Act, which would mean that the street would be paved with the cost being added to each property owner’s taxes. However, the project would need to be delayed until next year, and he said there was no guarantee that the cost of the pavement would be carried over to next year, meaning that the property owners on Dorchester Place may end up paying more for paving. He also said that some of the property owners are unsure if they will have the funds available next year.
“If we leave it until next year and do it as a local improvement, they may not have the money to do it then,” he says. “The price we have (for pavement) this year won’t be carried to next year.”
Council held a discussion at length after their council meeting last Wednesday and finally decided that they would pave Dorchester Place this year, leaving a 16-foot-wide strip of street unpaved that will run the length of the property of the unwilling owners. Because Dorchester Place has a green space in the middle, the town will pay for 16 feet of pavement on the side of the street with the green space, however 16 feet of street directly in front of the one property will be left unpaved.
Tomlinson, who was a long-time councillor before becoming mayor, says he has never had to deal with anything like this before.
“There’s never been a situation like this ever,” he says.
Paving of Dorchester Place will begin this month.