BY ANDREW SMITH
LISTOWEL – One North Perth councillor is questioning the municipality’s fondness for consultants and studies following the approval to proceed with a new traffic and parking study.
A report presented at the Aug. 13 meeting of North Perth council concerned the proposals received for a traffic and parking study in the municipality, after staff was directed to research traffic patterns and traffic volumes. Two proposals were received, one from Paradigm Transportation Solutions at a cost of $67,311, a breakdown of $27,015 for a parking study and $40,296 for traffic. A second proposal from R.J. Burnside and Associates for $68,733 was reported as $27,048 for parking and $41,685 for traffic studies. Coun. Dave Ludington questioned the need to hire outside consultants when municipal work crews are on the roads every day.
“You can ask the public works people what roads need paved and what ones don’t,” he said. “They drive on them every day.”
Coun. Matt Richardson responded that the studies are likely to encompass a variety of aspects, including a policy on stop signs and general traffic flow through the municipality.
“There’s a lot of different things I think would be benefitted by that study, and one of the benefits of that would be also looking at rural roads,” Richardson said. “But I don’t believe that $40,000 is strictly for rural roads.”
CAO Kriss Snell confirmed Richardson’s comments, saying there were a number of things to look at. The motion was carried to proceed with Paradigm Transportation Solutions at a cost of $67,311 by a vote of 5-4, leaving Ludington disappointed.
“We just threw away $67,000 as far as I’m concerned,” Ludington said. “I drive those roads every day, same as everyone else. We don’t need to spend $67,000 to use common sense.”
Ludington suggested people working in Listowel’s downtown core park somewhere else in order to allow people driving through town to park on the main streets.
The studies were not budgeted for 2012 and will require a budget amendment, to be expensed from the parking reserve fund, community improvement, and public works.