Qs FROM CONSTITUENTS: ON BEAVER VALLEY PRIVATE ROADS
This blog series explores some (I am trying to get ALL) of the questions I have been asked by Grey Highlands' constituents. This post answers a question from a Beaver Valley Ski Club resident.
Most of the roads that are accessed through the Beaver Valley ski club entrances have been in place for 60 years, the remainder that were added through development are a number of years less than that. There are over 125 chalets currently on these roads, most are primarily used on winter weekends but due to their assessed value all owners pay hefty taxes. The club and the chalet owners cover most of the cost of road maintenance, bridge inspections/maintenance and snow plowing with the municipality providing some gravel and grading.
If the municipality assumed the roads around the time the current club was formed over 50 years ago, I expect most roads would be paved and some of the bridges would have been replaced (probably using provincial or federal infrastructure funds). In my opinion, the municipality has done a good job of maintaining the Grey Highlands assumed roads. 50 years ago I remember the valley road as a narrow track with rickety bridges, it has been much improved since then.
The rational for the municipality not assuming the roads is that some portions are not to municipal standards. I’d like to see someone in the municipality that is aware of the inventory of assumed roads and bridges try to tell me with a straight face that all roads and bridges are to municipal standards.
While I don't like having to pay taxes as well as the direct costs of road and bridge maintenance, a very significant concern is fire and ambulance/paramedic access to the club and chalets. Should a road or bridge be impossible due to a failure or the seemingly increasing occurrence of major weather events, I want the resources the municipality can call on to address the problem.
I'd like to see the roads and bridges assumed by the municipality or failing that, a plan for municipal funded upgrades as well as an emergency plan.
Looking forward to your response
Thanks for the question. Other constituents have also asked me about their private roads. And, I suggest that your read my post, Qs from Constituents: Private Road Grants https://www.daniellevaliquette.ca/post/qs-from-constituents-lake-private-road-grants. This post also has a report on the Private Roads within GH and the average annual maintenance costs. The next Council will be deliberating this grant policy.
I imagine the preference to have the Beaver Valley Ski Club roads (Windy Lane, Edgewood Drive, Pioneer Drive, Brook Glade Drive, Meadow Lane, BV River Row, Beaver Trail, Mary B's Lane, and Angus Avenue) assumed by Grey Highlands and brought up to municipal standards would be costly. I would not be brave enough to even guess what it would cost to bring these 11 roads up to municipal standards, but I have no doubt that the sum is great and would need to be evaluated as part of the overall transportation strategy for the municipality.
The next Council is expecting a Transportation Mater Plan (TMP). This document will direct policies and infrastructure initiatives for Grey Highlands' future transportation system, and my humble suggestion is to response to the TMP once published. This is your best opportunity to advocate for the funding required.
Follow the municipality on social media, the local paper or subscribe here. https://www.greyhighlands.ca/en/municipal-government/connect.aspx for notifications the TMP has been published.
As far as an Emergency Plan for the Private Roads, I found the following article useful: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2022/05/06/tlti-to-update-private-roads-policy.html In this instance, an Emergency Plan became part of the overall private road grants discussion (that is usually only about the financial competent, for example, maintenance costs.) If I am part of the 2022 team, I would be willing to direct staff to include an emergency plan as part of the private road grant policy. I would then need to majority of Council for the motion to pass.
See all the questions I have been asked throughout the 2022 Campaign!