Miller works to get gravel roads paved

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Coun. Charlene Miller is seen with a paving petition she shared on 14th Street West this week, finding success with at least one block. 

Sweating under Tuesday’s hot sun, a smile was on Coun. Charlene Miller’s face as she walked down 14th Street West. 

Sweating under Tuesday’s hot sun, a smile was on Coun. Charlene Miller’s face as she walked down 14th Street West.

Interrupted occasionally by a plume of dust that vehicles kicked up from the unpaved city street, she was proud to report that at least one block will be paved in the near future.

“It’s time to come into the 21st century and to not have any gravel roads,” she summarized -- a point she’s been trying to convince council of during recent years.

“Council doesn’t want to look like a bunch of bullies and ram it down anybody’s throat,” she said. “Sometimes I wish we just would, but we can’t do that.”

As it currently stands, property owners pay to have their unpaved stretches of street paved, whereas avenues are the city’s responsibility.

Work can’t begin until more than half of the residents of any affected unpaved block sign a petition, which Miller had in tow on Tuesday.

About 77 per cent of the 1500 block of 14th Street West is good to go, she said.

Keen on signing the petition, area resident Beverly Temple said that she’s done with dust.

“The dust is flying in all the time, even through the screen,” she said at her front step shortly after Miller’s Tuesday morning visit.

Temple said that it’s become even worse lately, thanks to a detour the city has put into place to divert traffic from 15th Street West, which is currently being repaved.

It’s time to come into the 21st century and to not have any gravel roads. Charlene Miller

Although Miller advocated against the city using unpaved roads as detours during last week’s city council meeting, increased traffic continues this week.

Sitting at less than half of respondents agreeing to paving on certain blocks of 14th Street West, Miller notes that it’s not as simple as signing a petition.

It costs about $10,000 per household, which can be amortized over 10 years at about $1,400 per household.

Property owners can currently opt to have a dust suppression product called “Rhino Snot Earth Glue” applied to their stretch of road, at $1.37 per foot of property frontage.

Whereas the dust suppression product must be paid for and applied every year, once residents pay the initial cost of having their street paved, their role is over.  

All of the city’s unpaved stretches of road are in the west and east flat areas of the city, capital projects manager Wes Hicks said.

As the oldest area of the city, the flats predate city policies that dictate any new developments will be paved.

Organizations: 15th Street West

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