Left in the dust

Res­i­dents de­mand change from city

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - FRONT PAGE - JOSHUA SAN­TOS MOOSE JAW TIMES-HER­ALD

It’s ter­ri­ble when you can’t even go out on your deck and have sup­per be­cause of the dirt. Clarice Pal­sich, Res­i­dent

Res­i­dents in the Dou­ble J Lan­dlease Com­mu­nity lot just want their street paved.

“It’s ter­ri­ble when you can’t even go out on your deck and have sup­per be­cause of the dirt,” said Clarice Pal­sich.

Pal­sich bought a new pa­tio set and bar­be­cue for her back­yard, but never used it be­cause the dirt was so bad, it would al­ways go on their prop­erty. She saw it was com­ing from the un­paved Cari­bou Street East, and five years ago, be­gan a cam­paign to get it paved.

She went to a num­ber of coun­cil meet­ings and com­plained, ex­plain­ing how bad the dust and dirt was. Pal­sich even went a step fur­ther and gath­ered her neigh­bours’ sig­na­tures for a pe­ti­tion and brought it to the city a num­ber of years ago. Still, noth­ing was done about it.

Michael Py­ly­chaty is an­other res­i­dent, also up­set with the road. He said he would see big trucks de­stroy­ing it and throw­ing dust onto his prop­erty.

“Isn’t this a back­wards city? Any­body that does dam­age should be fined and have that money used to fix that pave­ment,” said Py­ly­chaty.

He called the city po­lice to watch the area for speed­ing driv­ers and even placed fur­nace fil­ters on his win­dows to clean the dirty air. His deck and car were also smoth­ered with dirt. Py­ly­chaty also of­fered an al­ter­na­tive idea.

“If they can’t af­ford to put the pave­ment in, why don’t they put a speed limit here of 10 kilo­me­ters an hour and have cops there that will en­force the law?” he said.

By do­ing that, he said, driv­ers com­ing into the city might go down Athabasca Street East or down Thatcher Drive in­stead of driv­ing through Cari­bou Street East.

An­other up­set res­i­dent is Wayne Vargo. He said he un­der­stands the city has money con­straints, but they can al­ways put some sort of ma­te­rial on the road to re­place the gravel. He is more con­cerned with the traf­fic on that road and cars speed­ing.

“There’s trucks go­ing to the (land­fill) and the garbage isn’t covered. It’s sup­posed to be covered with tarps,” said Vargo. “I don’t know if it’s a truck route or not, but there’s heavy trucks down there too.”

He said the speed limit should be posted clearly, in­di­cat­ing that it’s 50 km/h, or dropped down to 40 km/h.

He said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity should also clar­ify if the road is meant to be used by heavy trucks. If it is, the city needs to do some­thing about it.

“In the morn­ings when you go out, you can’t even see. It’s a haz­ard,” said Vargo. “When you come out here onto Cari­bou, there’s so much dust you can’t even tell if there’s a car com­ing or not.”

The last mes­sage Pal­sich got from the city was a no­tice on Aug. 23 2016 stat­ing:

“That Cari­bou Street from 11th Av­enue North­east to the high­way be placed in the 2017 Lo­cal Im­prove­ment Pro­gram.”

LIP is a sys­tem by which neigh­bour­hoods can pe­ti­tion the city for work, such as a new storm drain or side­walk, and share the costs with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Pal­sich didn’t know what the LIP was at the time, but has since learned that a project can be­gin once the ma­jor­ity of home­own­ers vote for it. She said they al­ready did that with their pre­vi­ous pe­ti­tion.

She and her neigh­bours knew they would prob­a­bly pay higher taxes to get the road paved and were fine with that con­se­quence.

“No­body ob­jected to that. They just wanted to get rid of this mess and (stop) hav­ing to breath it in,” she said.

The last time she went to city hall, she was told by the en­gi­neer’s of­fice that ap­proval and an agree­ment from the city and the owner of Dou­ble J Lan­dlease Com­mu­nity was needed in or­der to get work done.

“Why does the guy who owns the park need a writ­ten con­tract? I don’t un­der­stand what that means,” she said.

Tim Clarke, man­ager of Dou­ble J Lan­dlease Com­mu­nity said he went down to city hall to speak with the au­thor­i­ties on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions, ex­press­ing the con­cerns of the res­i­dents. He said the city was to call him back but they never did.

“My boss of­fered to pay for (paving) but they wouldn’t let him. I un­der­stand what the peo­ple are go­ing through,” said Clarke. “You should take a look at the ve­hi­cles at the park on the top­side of the hill there. There’s dust in the houses.”

The last time Clarke talked with the city was about two weeks ago.

Pal­sich said she finds it per­plex­ing that the city needs ap­proval from the com­mu­nity landowner when the mo­bile-home­own­ers pay taxes.

She went back to city hall try­ing to get more clar­i­fi­ca­tion and said her con­cerns were redi­rected to Josh Mick­le­bor­ough, di­rec­tor of en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices. She said she has had dif­fi­cul­ties con­nect­ing with any­one who can an­swer her con­cerns.

“I don’t know where we’re at or what to do next. We’ve done ev­ery­thing we can to try to get them to do some­thing with this road,” Pal­sich said.

Ac­cord­ing to city so­lic­i­tor My­ron Gulka-Tiechko, the project didn’t go ahead for a num­ber of rea­sons.

At a Sept. 11 coun­cil meet­ing, a new by­law had to be ap­proved by city coun­cil show­ing the stan­dard costs needed for road paving, side­walks and sewer up­grades among other projects un­der LIP. The by­law needed to be in place in or­der to pro­ceed with any projects. It was ap­proved.

“The most im­me­di­ate prob­lem was there was no uni­form rates by­law in place that would be able to cal­cu­late the ex­penses that would be re­quired for the project,” Gulka-Tiechko said.

There was also a lot of turnover in the en­gi­neer­ing de­part­ment and projects that weren’t able to go ahead got lost in the shuf­fle.

“We’ve had such a huge per­son­nel change in the en­gi­neer­ing de­part­ment. I think Josh Mick­le­bor­ough has now been with us for two-years but in the pre­vi­ous five years, there were five dif­fer­ent peo­ple in that po­si­tion,” Gulka-Tiechko said.

Now that a uni­form rates by­law is in place and now that the city has steady staff in the en­gi­neer­ing de­part­ment, Gulka-Tiechko is hope­ful projects can be­gin over the fall and win­ter.

“We’ll be mak­ing con­tact with some of the pre­vi­ous ap­pli­cants for these LIP projects to see if they’re still in­ter­ested in get­ting them done and pro­vid­ing for­mal no­tices,” said Gulka-Tiechko. “(We’ll also be) pro­vid­ing the ac­tual es­ti­mates of the costs and then the pri­vate own­ers along the roads in all those ar­eas would have to de­ter­mine whether they can con­trib­ute to the costs as well.”

With many ar­eas in the com­mu­nity also ask­ing for up­grades, projects would be com­pleted based on a pri­or­ity lists.

JOSHUA SAN­TOS/TIMES-HER­ALD

Michael Py­ly­chaty has to con­stantly clean his van be­cause of the dirt from the road.

JOSHUA SAN­TOS/TIMES-HER­ALD

Res­i­dents in the Dou­ble J Lan­dlease Com­mu­nity have to al­ways deal with the dirt thrown from the road from Cari­bou Street East.

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