If Haldimand County is in the greatest shape financially (as we have been reading week after week), why can’t council address basic infrastructure needs such as our gravel road.
We reluctantly chose to build on a gravel road (Reeds) in 2003 with the thinking it would be hard surfaced within five to 10 years. But, today, it’s still on “the list” for 2026 (nine more years). Yes, for those of you who don’t know, there is a gravel road conversion list. Each gravel road in Haldimand is given a rating based on four criteria and then put into a specific order.
We have written countless letters to council. We have also had councillor Tony Dalimonte to our home to express our frustration. He keeps referring to the strict order of the list and the budget. (Again, based on what we have been reading lately, the budget seems to be up for negotiation.)
Reeds Road, which connects to Highway 3 and is an extension of Kohler Road, is the only gravel road closest to Cayuga that is not hard surfaced.
Unfortunately, despite the list order, other roads seem to have been given exceptions. For example, Broad Road (near York, and less travelled, slated for approximately 2028) was hard surfaced a few years ago. Most recently, King George Road (slated for at least 2030) was done last month. Apparently King George’s hard surfacing exception is part of the $1.8 million trails project called “York to Cayuga On-Road-Route”. This is part of a larger trails initiative (approximately $6.7 million) to take place over the next 10 years.
This month, the 110-kilometer stretch of River Road (Cayuga to York), which was in desperate need of repair and also part of this trail project, was also resurfaced and widened for “cyclists”. It seems backwards that we must drive our vehicles on a muddy or dusty pot-holed road in order to get to a trail that is hard surfaced for bicycles.
We have listened to council rationalize the expense of the administration building, why it’s important to them, and why it’s a good decision in the long run. Why can’t this be the same thinking for other, much needed and long overdue, infrastructure?
We understand that running Haldimand County is a business and a job we would not want to have. We too, are also business owners. We know that you need to spend money to make money.
Speaking for hundreds of residents living on gravel roads in our county, this issue needs to be revisited and expedited. It’s not right to forced residents living on gravel roads to wait any longer for the simple luxury that everyone else in Haldimand has.
Councillor Fred Morison confidently stated that there is six times the cost of the administration building in reserves of $130 million. We were told one kilometre of road conversion costs approximately $100,000. A Haldimand County engineering executive told us that the pay back on hard surfacing a road is seven years.
That seems like a pretty good investment. Imagine then what the county’s net worth would be.
Peter and Robin deBoer