At a special meeting May 13, Council approved the postponement of the recently approved Downtown Deep Utility Replacement project. This work was to be the first stage of a two-part project. The project’s scope and timeline has reverted back to what was previously in the Town’s 10-year capital plan.
The Town had originally considered accelerating the replacement of underground infrastructure this June when businesses were closed and events were cancelled, which would have reduced the impact and disruption. However, with the provincial announcement of a relaunch strategy beginning May 14, and feedback received from the affected businesses and residents about the timing of the project, the decision to complete the utility replacement earlier was re-evaluated.
“The Town is deeply committed to working with business associations, local businesses and residents on this project and are happy to be flexible. We fully appreciate and understand that businesses need to devote time to developing and implementing new business processes as they adapt to, and start to recover from, COVID-19,” said CAO Elaine Vincent. “The Town values positive collaboration; it is very important to work together in order for this project to be mutually beneficial.”
Now that the construction schedule has returned to the original timelines, the 2022 project will include the replacement of the utilities, road, surface improvements (wider sidewalks, street furniture and landscaping) and an upgrade to Triangle Park. The Town recognizes that this project will be disruptive and will work closely with residents and businesses to ensure their concerns are addressed through a comprehensive design and public participation process later in 2020.
“This project will continue to be a placeholder in the Town’s 2022 capital plan. In 2021, the Council at that time will be tasked with approving the budget for the project. It remains the Town’s priority to ensure that infrastructure is reliable, improve the downtown, and support continuing economic recovery and growth,” said Vincent.
Once more information becomes available, details will be communicated directly to the affected businesses and residents and will also be located on this page.