Some business owners in Vernon’s Alpine Centre are upset about the impact a road project will have on their bottom line.
City council has decided to have alternating traffic closures on Kalamalka Lake Road lasting up to six months (20-24 weeks), including a total road closure lasting up to two months (6-8 weeks).
Dave Straughan from Uncle Dave’s Pizza says it will impact his sales and cut down on summer tourists.
“Why aren’t they starting the project in December? Wait for another year and start it in December or January and get it over with by the time the summer rolls around. I mean that’s common sense. This is stupidity,” Straughan told the media.
Photo: Dave Straughan, owner of Uncle Dave’s Pizza speaks to media outside City Hall (Pete McIntyre photo)
Mayor Akbal Mund says it’s not possible to do the project in the winter.
“It can’t be done. The ground is frozen, so how do you do it?”
“The council, they sit there like we don’t even exist, and I just think they’re really rude. We’re taxpayers, so maybe we should all just not pay our taxes. I understand it needs to be improved, but (a number of businesses) are going to suffer,” says Andrea Sanzana from the Mission Accomplish Ministry Centre in the Alpine Centre.
Council also considered a total road closure up to four months, but councillor Scott Anderson couldn’t get any support for his idea to look into having 24 hour a day, 7 days a week construction.
“We have to go beyond the bottom line and find a solution, even if it costs more,” said Anderson.
“The cost would be just immense,” says Mund. “Unless those business owners want to come up with all that money to pay for that, I can’t see that happening. That would be part of the contract.”
Councillor Juliette Cunningham says it a “no win situation,” but didn’t support 24-7 construction with 180 residential units nearby.
“I would rather get it over with in the shortest amount of time. The businesses can work with their customers to help them get to their shops.”
A motion that would have gone ahead with the total closure didn’t get enough support, while the one for alternating closures passed with Anderson opposed.
The 2.8 million dollar project is expected to start in April and will add a multi use path on the road from 11th Avenue to the Alpine Centre.
The road closure area will be from Browne Road to the Alpine Centre, which is also at the boundary of Coldstream.
Vehicles will be detoured using College Way, Husband Drive and Aberdeen Road.