Dysart council agreed to pause any major road projects within Haliburton village until it makes decisions on future sewer line expansion.

Staff presented its proposed slate of road resurfacing projects for 2021 at a special budget meeting Jan. 11. The slate is not finalized but featured more than 30 kilometres of roads receiving surface treatment for $1.5 million in total.

Included in the list were several roads within Haliburton village, including parts of Highland Street, Mountain Street, Park Street and Pine Avenue.

But Coun. John Smith said such work should be delayed, given the possibility of future sewer line work.

“The ghost of my dad is going to say, ‘my God, don’t resurface those roads and then go out in a year or two and tear it up,’” Smith said. “People will think we got nothing but money.”

Dysart’s service delivery review presented last September proposed long-term planning on the sewer system and an expanded line. Council has yet to make any decisions on the idea.

Mayor Andrea Roberts said regular maintenance could continue in the meantime.

“We’re still patching, we’re still fixing potholes,” Roberts said. “But we really should have a full investigation into the sewer.”

Council directed staff to adjust the project list to remove roads within the village that could be in included in a sewer expansion.

More funding for roads

Council also agreed to put more dollars into the road budget to contract prep work for resurfacing projects.

Council agreed to a figure – potentially in the $50,000-$100,000 range, based on staff recommendation – for more brushing and ditching, a needed step in some areas to convert roads from gravel to hardtop.

Smith questioned staff’s struggles to get planned brushing and ditching done in-house at areas like Kennisis Lake Road.

“We have all sorts of good intentions to get this work done, but it all boils down to limitations,” director of public works Rob Camelon said. “We only have so many people.”

Council asked staff to bring back an exact figure they would like to contract some of the workload.

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