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Should rural roads be maintained by the city?

Complaints from residents has sparked a debate about rural roads. Timmins City Council is looking into different options to maintain the back roads, which right now don’t get much attention. A policy from 1981, which has been revised over the years, says that several construction standards have to be met in order for the city to maintain the roads, in summer and winter.

Those standards are:

– 20.11m (66 foot) right of way
– Brushing complete in right-of-way
– Ditching on both sides at a maximum of 4. 9m ( 16feet) offset from the property line
– Culvert installation as required
– Granular B as required
– Granular A as required
– Granular roadway to be a minimum of 6.4m (21 feet)
– Require turn around for the plow City owned right-of-way. The association shall be responsible for confirming ownership.
– Agreement / conditions ( legal) to be finalized. This would only apply to roads where Council directs administration to enter into an agreement with an association or group
– Council approval

Three different options were outlined at council, which included maintaining the status quo, or sharing the cost with the cottagers association or private owners.


Mayor Steve Black says he won’t support an upgrade of the services.

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“This conversation concerns me a lot. I understand the desire to help out, or reach out, and improve service, but I think if we consider what was just discussed with Oscar [Poloni], in terms of what we’re facing as a community,” says Black. “The reality that Kidd Operations will end in approximately seven years, give or take some time, and what will may be looking at in terms of service levels at that time if we don’t take a position earlier to be prepared for that. As well as what we’re going to look at in the core service review. I would be very disappointed if we make any decision before the core service review is completed.”

The Mayor is referring to Oscar Poloni, who is leading a complete review of the city’s expenses. He is looking into where we can save money, and how the future of Timmins looks. Poloni essentially says although Timmins is doing well right now, some preparations need to be made for when Kidd pulls out in 2021. 

Black says winter maintenance is already one of the biggest ticket items on the budget.

“If we look at our municipal budget, winter maintenance is one of the largest items we have. We just increased it $1.4 million to be able to continue to serve the area that we do serve,” explains Black. “To be going out into private roads, that were purchased properties as private places with no service provided, and then to come back and say because an external change outside our control has changed slightly, that we should start serving those roads I think would be a mistake in looking at what we’re trying to accomplish in preparing ourself for 2021.”

The issue has been left in the Councillor’s hands, to bring it back for a vote.

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