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Take It Up With The Committee

Posted by Kyro Sk On 2007-08-20 2 comments

The month of August has been absolutely nuts.

Most bizarre is certainly the machinations of the Vanscoy Highway Committee, of which I am the last (and youngest) member of NINE persons!

For those who do not know, allow me to quickly summarize...

The Dept. of Highways (federal?) has decided that it should complete the twin highway segment from where the highway merges (at the first mine) through to Delisle. Since my town lies along the highway, one of the chief project problems is what to do with us. (BTW - when asked in the provincial house this week about it, our minister for highway development said he had no knowledge of any plan to develop this highway.)

In early July, the engineers office contracted to design the stretch presented three alternative plans for how it could work (really only two as you shall see). At the end of the open presentation, they distributed forms asking for community feedback.

Options 1 & 2 were through Vanscoy where the road is now, with option 2 designed to gobble up the property along the edge of town (i.e. my house). Option 3 called for the new high-speed highway to go north of town - and was clearly the preferred option that the designers wanted to go with. Nobody likes Option 1 (the road through town, narrow, with a lower speed limit). But from my point of view, both option 2 and 3 are great! Allow me to explain...

Option 2: the highway goes through town, they buy my property and I'm forced to move. So, I would buy a lot in the north end of town, and either build a new house, or move my existing house onto a new foundation. This results in no more road noise and a new basement*. I win.

Option 3: the highway goes north around town. I stay where I live. Because of my hugely increased property value, I go ahead with planned reno's in the basement*. This results in no more road noise. I win.

For the last two months I've been meeting with this committee listing to their arguments on how best to convince the Dept. of Highways (and contracted engineers office) that Option 2 (through town, gobble property) is the way to go. We've constructed a clear set of compelling reasons to put the highway through town (there is of course a clear set of compelling reasons to go around town also but the committee isn't really interested in that for the most part, and like I said, I'm okay either way).

After all the wrangling and gnashing of teeth, it looks like the Dept. of Highways plans to go ahead with their original plan anyway - pretty obviously - to go north around town regardless of what us local folks had to say about it.

Now begins the long protracted experience of having no idea what is ultimately going to happen with the project, preventing me from moving ahead with any planned renovations OR relocating. The only bad possible outcome! A perfect situation for preventing me from being able to do anything! I guess I'll keep looking at the same terrible carpet downstairs and putting up with shoddy bathrooms for another FIVE TO EIGHT years while this shakes out.

What kills me about this is, I was in a win/win position, which was a pleasant change. But no, instead we have a conspiracy to make it into a total bummer. You can gag me with an vx missile.