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Mayor Todd Kasenberg's Blog Issue 5

Understanding the Big (Capital) Projects In North Perth’s Medium Range Future

On the white board in my office, I keep a short list of projects that I expect lie ahead for our community. Some of these are new initiatives that will spark appropriate growth, some are remedies for infrastructure that is deteriorating past the point of maintenance recovery, and some are essential upgrades to accommodate the growth we’ve seen and the impacts on service capacity.

I feel it important for my fellow residents of North Perth to get a sense of what lies ahead. The list has me anxious, because the collective cost is about the same as the total property tax revenues received by the municipality over a two year period. That’s right, I said two years – if we were to shut down our government to completely pay for these reasonable and in some cases necessary projects, we’d need to be closed for two years!

Municipalities have a pretty small revenue toolbox. We can tax. We can charge user fees. We can get money from other levels of government. Or we can borrow an amount today, and pay it off as a loan over time (which ultimately still requires us to tax). Needless to say, over the years, and through a variety of programs, other levels of government haven’t been sufficiently forthcoming with funds to meet what is a growing infrastructure deficit. An infrastructure deficit (or gap) exists when we let infrastructure deteriorate and don’t maintain or repair these items in a reasonable timeframe. That this happens is not surprising, since municipal politicians are left on the hook for some big costs (roads and bridges), but face a weary taxpayer base wanting taxes kept low(ish). The easy solution is just to delay and delay these projects so that we don’t have to make the hard decision to tax more.

Here is that short list on my white board.

Project
Explanation
Approximate Investment
Albert Street Drain
Installation of new storm drain works to ease water problems in the north-west area of Listowel and increase capacity to handle storm water. Upgrades to existing infrastructure, including sidewalk on Binning St.
$5 Million
North East Master Plan (NEMP)
Installation of water, sanitary and storm water management for existing and new development lands in the north-east of Listowel.
Phased project, current total estimate is $18 Million
Line 84 Reconstruction
Widening and repaving of Line 84 as part of Listowel Downtown bypass
$3 Million
Line 87 Roundabout
Ministry of Transportation (MTO – provincial) Project - Installation of roundabout and potential road widening of Line 87 west of Wallace as part of Listowel Downtown bypass
Undetermined - timeline and costs will be determined by Province
New Swimming Pool in Listowel Memorial Park
The current pool is nearing end of life, and has been in service for more than 50 years; accessibility upgrades must be made before 2025 to comply with provincial legislation
$3 Million
Main Street Atwood
Refurbishment associated with planned provincial renovation of Hwy 23, including sidewalks, light standards, water main
$2.5 Million
Core Downtown Road Renewal Listowel
Installation of new storm sewers, infrastructure, paving of several blocks in area adjacent to Wallace and Main
At least $10 Million



Mayor Todd Kasenberg's Blog Issue 5

Understanding the Big (Capital) Projects In North Perth’s Medium Range Future

On the white board in my office, I keep a short list of projects that I expect lie ahead for our community. Some of these are new initiatives that will spark appropriate growth, some are remedies for infrastructure that is deteriorating past the point of maintenance recovery, and some are essential upgrades to accommodate the growth we’ve seen and the impacts on service capacity.

I feel it important for my fellow residents of North Perth to get a sense of what lies ahead. The list has me anxious, because the collective cost is about the same as the total property tax revenues received by the municipality over a two year period. That’s right, I said two years – if we were to shut down our government to completely pay for these reasonable and in some cases necessary projects, we’d need to be closed for two years!

Municipalities have a pretty small revenue toolbox. We can tax. We can charge user fees. We can get money from other levels of government. Or we can borrow an amount today, and pay it off as a loan over time (which ultimately still requires us to tax). Needless to say, over the years, and through a variety of programs, other levels of government haven’t been sufficiently forthcoming with funds to meet what is a growing infrastructure deficit. An infrastructure deficit (or gap) exists when we let infrastructure deteriorate and don’t maintain or repair these items in a reasonable timeframe. That this happens is not surprising, since municipal politicians are left on the hook for some big costs (roads and bridges), but face a weary taxpayer base wanting taxes kept low(ish). The easy solution is just to delay and delay these projects so that we don’t have to make the hard decision to tax more.

Here is that short list on my white board.

Project
Explanation
Approximate Investment
Albert Street Drain
Installation of new storm drain works to ease water problems in the north-west area of Listowel and increase capacity to handle storm water. Upgrades to existing infrastructure, including sidewalk on Binning St.
$5 Million
North East Master Plan (NEMP)
Installation of water, sanitary and storm water management for existing and new development lands in the north-east of Listowel.
Phased project, current total estimate is $18 Million
Line 84 Reconstruction
Widening and repaving of Line 84 as part of Listowel Downtown bypass
$3 Million
Line 87 Roundabout
Ministry of Transportation (MTO – provincial) Project - Installation of roundabout and potential road widening of Line 87 west of Wallace as part of Listowel Downtown bypass
Undetermined - timeline and costs will be determined by Province
New Swimming Pool in Listowel Memorial Park
The current pool is nearing end of life, and has been in service for more than 50 years; accessibility upgrades must be made before 2025 to comply with provincial legislation
$3 Million
Main Street Atwood
Refurbishment associated with planned provincial renovation of Hwy 23, including sidewalks, light standards, water main
$2.5 Million
Core Downtown Road Renewal Listowel
Installation of new storm sewers, infrastructure, paving of several blocks in area adjacent to Wallace and Main
At least $10 Million



Guest Book

I’d welcome your thoughts on what we should be doing next on these priorities, and about how soon you think we should act. To get involved, share your comment or suggestion below.

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It seems every year I have to ask the Municipality to clean the ditch grates on line 66 west. 1st mile in at the Los chicken farm. I never get an answer, so I monitor it and contact the Municipality when it needs cleaned. I have 200 acres draining into it and over the winter time the grates get plugged with debris slowing down the flow of water in the ditch. I was promised that an engineer would design a better grate system years ago, but nothing came of it, the Municipality has to clean them. Now is a good time to get these grates cleaned and debris dumped away from the ditch so that when the water is high, the debris won't flow back into the ditch. Thank you.

Julie Emond about 1 month ago

Reading the Banner abt the discussion at council abt whether to allow RTV s and 4 wheelers on municipal roads, here is my 5 cents worth. I have had a side-by-side for 6 years on the farm that is used for stone picking, crop scouting, soil sampling, fixing fences and a host of other farm related jobs year round. In the Banner article the use of RTV or 4 wheelers is never mentioned as a crucial piece of farm equipment. Well it is. And in order to access my fields, I HAVE to cross or USE hwy 23 and County Road 55, besides the use of several concession roads and side roads. Those are the same roads used to to get to my fields with tractors and farm equipment. I consider my RTV a piece of farm equipment. And so should council. Sometimes field/crop conditions do not allow for for the weight of a tractor or truck but a 4wheeler or RTV can survey the field conditions. If you want food on the table, then let the farmers do what's best.

Julie Emond about 1 month ago

Rural residents are tax payers too. As a farmer I request the Mun. not to skip on road cuttings. People in town enjoy timely cuttings in parks etc, but the rural roadside can bloom with weeds to no end. Another issue I have is the continued dumping of garbage/ concrete pieces along rd 166 between line 57 and rd 55. A this moment there are 3 concrete dumpings to clean up and please find the culprits ( landowners on that rd are seniors and are disgusted with the dumpings from Monkton people. This has to stop. I have notified the Mun countless times, never a response.Call me at 519 347-2308 and I will show you.

Julie Emond 6 months ago

Allowing ORVs within the municipality.
We definitely have a lot of farmers in the area as well hunters. With some restrictions and guidelines, allowing off road vehicles would be beneficial.

Shawnt2018 6 months ago

They should think about widening Tremaine street or putting in a side walk on one side up up to St.Marys school for safe walking and for walking to the new childcare centre. That street is very busy and dangerous to walk on.

Angel 8 months ago

Line 87 roundabout a must!

JEB 9 months ago

Is there already a downtown bypass project in progress, for large trucks? I am just wondering as there is also a transportation master plan survey in progress.

Blair Burns 10 months ago

I think there should be an inherent urgency to better cater and encourage more diverse programs for youth that don't require personal funding to manage. Much of the time spent between the ages of 9-25 is spent in places that require the need for money to become inclusive to them. Whilst many communities suffer from a lack of funds spent on people of a particular age group, the problem is (in my opinion) that much of the resources (time, money, attention) used are to create "youth attraction strategies" instead of actually developing spaces for youths that are already there. Consider what type of spaces are actually there for youths to participate in. Now, how many of them require $$, or are in some cases, inaccessible for one or more reasons (even Pre-COVID-19). While jobs and education and arts programs are important and have made a significant impact on the ability for the youth to become interpolated in the community (in theory), why does there seem to be a complete standstill in developing actual spaces and long-term solutions to keep the youths we already have?

mollyhorn 11 months ago

I live in Listowel, I talk to people in Listowel. Year round pool is something people want. I travel to an indoor pool once a week (at least I did before Covid) to use their pool with my wife and two girls. I do not think it would need to be a large pool. The leisure pool inside the Wilmot Recreation Complex is a great size and great function, paired with a outdoor pool would service our community well. A lot of people just want somewhere to swim leisurely, and take smaller children when the weather is not great (10 months of the year) and the remaining 2 months get out of the sun, not worry about weather.

Robert 11 months ago

A trail between Hutton St and the old train track trail would connect the entire area to all the stores along Hwy 23 without having to go north to Elma St, just to go south again.
North Perth prides itself for it's trails, yet in my opinion, they are lacking, The Hutton, Krotz St area is still growing, yet a 200M trail would make all the difference.

Robert 11 months ago