BARRHEAD - Mehden Road residents won a small victory – but whether the victory will end with the residents' eventual goal of repaving the roadway remains to be seen.
On Sept. 12, Town of Barrhead councillors voted to move the reconstruction of the street to their 2024 budget deliberations.
Initially, the road project had been slated for 2026.
However, a group of Mehden Road residents asked council to accelerate the timetable by two years.
In the letter included in the public agenda package, the residents stated that the condition of the street has deteriorated dramatically over the years.
The letter, signed by about a dozen residents, states that as a short-term solution, the town graded the road, filled in any potholes with gravel and laid down tar on top.
While the residents appreciate the town's effort, they note the temporary solution also poses its own problems.
"We have been battling ongoing issues on our road for several years now," including a lack of gravel and large potholes, the letter states.
But the residents said perhaps the most annoying problem is that the tar "oozes through the gravel" and can be tracked into their homes when the weather gets warmer.
"Sometimes that means our guests have to leave their shoes at the outside door," they said.
They also note that the road is part of an older, established neighbourhood, and the municipality receives considerable property tax revenue from the area.
"Paving the street would bring them "up to par with every other street and even some alleys in Barrhead."
The residents added that Mehden Road is not maintained to the same standards as other streets in town, noting that they are not on the regular snowplow route, even though the neighbouring cul-de-sac (the end of 49th Avenue) is, resulting in the residents bringing in a tractor from a local business.
Coun. Rod Klumph supported moving the project into the 2024 budget process.
"That way, we can get the answers we need, such as how much the project will cost and what projects will need to be delayed or cut if we decide to proceed with it in 2024," he said.
Coun. Don Smith said more often than not, when the municipality makes localized local improvements, area residents need to help shoulder the costs through an added tax levy, asking when council does opt to pave the street if that would be the case.
"It could," said development and legislative services director Cheryl Callihoo, but added that she would need to check with corporate service director Jennifer Mantey to know if that would be the case.