Council updated on Arichat revitalization project

ARICHAT: Council received an update on a long-awaited sidewalk, streetscape and façade project.

During the regular monthly meeting of Richmond Municipal Council on May 27 in Arichat, Public Works director Chris Boudreau provided council with briefing notes summarizing the project for the municipality’s shire town.

Boudreau said the Arichat Main Street Revitalization project includes 800 metres of sidewalks, façade improvements to businesses and streetscaping along the sidewalk project which follows the main road. Funding comes from three sources: $272,500 from participating businesses; $700,944 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency; and the municipality is providing $1,029,251 in funding, Boudreau said.

For the façade program, there have been 13 applications approved, three designs have been approved for construction and one business (The Island Nest) has started construction, the public works director told council.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has approved the design of the sidewalk project, Boudreau said, with tenders expected in a couple of weeks and construction to be complete in the fall.

As for the streetscape aspect of the project, Boudreau said a design firm provided the municipality with four conceptual designs for passive parks along the sidewalk. One park is located at the east end of the sidewalk project near the St. Joseph’s Credit Union ATM, the other is below the municipal building, and the third is at the west end of the sidewalk near St. Ann Community and Nursing Care Centre. He said there will be deviations from the original plans, due to changes in materials and costs.

The reason Boudreau appeared before council was for guidance in how to proceed with the passive park adjacent to St. Ann Centre because it does not fit within the road right-of-way. He said the St. Ann Centre board supports granting the easement, but the board requested they be consulted on any changes to the park so they complement the healthcare facility and create no safety issues. Without the easement, Boudreau said the alternative would be a park that is significantly smaller.

Boudreau asked council if they support having municipal staff pursue an easement with the St. Ann Centre board to construct a passive park on their property. The final design will be approved in consultation with the board, the project committee and funding partners, he said.

District 1 councillor James Goyetche moved that staff pursue the easement, considering the project is already 100 per cent funded. The motion was seconded by Deputy Warden Alvin Martell.

Warden Brian Marchand asked about the shrubbery at the passive park at St. Ann Centre, to which Boudreau answered that these are aspects of the project which can be altered according to concerns about visibility entering and leaving the Arichat facility.

Marchand also asked about the amount of parking planned for the passive park below the municipal building. Boudreau said design aspects of that park can also be moved around to make more space, and if there is a need for more overflow parking, the parking lot at École Beau-Port can also be used.

Council approved the motion to have staff proceed with the easement.