PORT McNEILL—Residents will have to plan on living with local streets and sidewalks in a somewhat rustic condition until spring, council learned during its regular meeting Nov. 7.
The contractors replacing the town’s aging water lines are ultimately responsible for repaving streets and replacing broken and removed sections of sidewalk, Mayor Gerry Furney said in response to a question from coun. Shelley Downey.
However, the paving equipment recently was sent down-Island, and the town will have to make do with temporary asphalt patching until it returns at winter’s end.
“They were lucky enough to get a couple of days of nice weather and got some sections finished downtown,” Furney said of Windley Contracting, Ltd. “But the crews are leaving for the season and it won’t (be finished) until they come back.”
The same question came up the following night during the all-candidates meeting for the upcoming municipal election.
“When are we going to make Port McNeill a little better again?” former councillor Dawn Harilstad asked while addressing the condition of roads and sidewalks.
Each candidate offered general long-term improvements, but Downey, a mayoral candidate, responded head-on.
“It’s going to be a messy winter,” Downey admitted. “In the spring we’ll deal with digging up the cold patch and putting in pavement.”
Furney said during Monday’s council meeting he was directing public works foreman Glen Boyd to secure a quote to bring blacktop patch material from down-Island as a temporary fix.
Downey noted she had recently seen a video featuring a new cold-mix resurfacing material that has enjoyed success in areas with inclement weather, and would bring more information to the next council meeting.
Council approved five residents to a committee to explore compensation stipends for the mayor and councillors, with their findings to be presented to the new council at its first meeting in December.
Chuck Lok, the local Provincial Emergency Planning coordinator; Traci Fontana-Wegelin of North Island Community Services; David Mitchell of Community Futures of Mount Waddingon; local entrepreneur Annie Leblanc and former councillor Doug Anweiller were named to the committee after being nominated by Coun. Gaby Wickstrom.
Wickstrom initially proposed looking into council’s pay, which was last amended in 2001. Currenly the mayor receives approximately $629 per month while councillors receive about $402.
Lou Lantier was approved to fill a vacant spot on the Harbour Committee for the coming year.
Lantier was nominated by the current committee, whose other six members agreed to let their names stand for another year.
Current members are James Furney, Bill McCormick, Ken Menzies, Bruce Jackman, Karen Schwalm and Barry Foster.
Right of way
Council approved John Motherwell and Associates Engineering as the town’s agent in its application for a statutory right of way for the cemetery.