Ever since the Town of Ponoka tied into the Red Deer regional waterline the surface of 38th Street has never looked the same.
Residents of 38th Street met with town council May 21 in an attempt to resolve local improvement discrepancies. Only four councillors sat at the table as councillors Izak van der Westhuizen, Rick Bonnett, and Loanna Gulka live on the street.
Van der Westhuizen, of 4602 38 Street, pointed out the road condition as a concern for residents. “Nobody really mentions that we had a regional waterline that comes down that road.”
“That was the (thing) first that really compromised the quality of our street,” he added.
Red Deer water benefits all the town residents and even if 38th Street residents had not signed a local improvement petition, the road would still need to be returned to its original state.
“All we ask, as residents, is that we get back what we had prior to the regional waterline,” said van der Westhuizen.
He believes the road was a cold mix surface. “It’s not close to what we have today.”
One reason the road was not returned to its original state was due to the local improvement, explained Coun. Doug Gill. “So why would you want to rip it up again?”
Gary Stickney, 4105 38 Street, asked where the cost of putting the street back together came from. “It shouldn’t all come from sewer and water.”
Jacobs supported Stickney as he feels those residents should have the expectation the road would be returned to its original state. “I think we were told that it was being improved but I don’t see the action happening.”
Bonnett, who lives at 4204 38 Street, feels since new homes are being constructed to the north dust has become an issue residents are dealing with. “With the size of trucks coming in there that road has been compromised already.”
To help confirm the amount of traffic on the road was Ed Clarke of 51 Avenue Close. He uses 38th Street every day. “The road needs to be treated as an arterial road and properly paved.”
Bonnett agreed. “There’s too much traffic for what they claim to be a local road,” he said. “It needs to be said that it’s an arterial road and it needs to be treated as such.”
Mayor Larry Henkelman asked if Clarke recommended the Town of Ponoka incur the cost of paving.
Clarke feels residents should pay a portion of the cost but not as much as the town feels appropriate and he does not believe charging 38th Street residents is fair since he uses the road. But Watson said the town’s portion is on the extra amount of asphalt if the road were treated as arterial. An arterial road is wider and the base is deeper to take the heavier weights of trucks.
“Otherwise it would not be fair and equitable to live on an arterial road and pay more,” said Watson.
Henkelman does not agree with Clarke as many people use his street to get to their home and he had to pay taxes for that road. “That’s the policy in the town.”
Watson does feel 38th Street residents have not had their road returned to its original state and acknowledged there are some areas that will need to be rebuilt. “Three spots are definitely going to have to be dug out.”
Rebuilding the entire road will have to be decided by council as a budget item as that is a large expense.
There have been more trucks on 38 Street as well since the north bridge restricts large vehicles due to safety concerns, explained Don Schimpf of 45 Street and 44 Avenue. Buses also use alternate routes and 38 Street presents ideal access for other areas of town. “A lot of people use that to go to the dump.”