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Coalhurst’s Community Hall parking lot being paved

Posted on April 11, 2024 by Sunny South News

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

Coalhurst’s Community Hall will be getting paved parking lots.

During their regular April 2 meeting, Coalhurst town council reviewed a request to initiate design drawings for resurfacing and drainage corrections on the two community hall parking lots to allow tendering of the project.

The project would be to pave and line parking stall stalls at the community hall, in order for it to abide by the Town’s Land Use Bylaw and correct a drainage issue. Currently, the parking situation at the community hall is largely at the visitor’s discretion when parking in the west or south lots, which are unpaved and unlined.

“Over the course of the winter, we had several conversations about the parking lots at the community hall, including some of the challenges we had with drainage on the west lot beside the building, and the fact they’re not upgrades, so they’re not very efficient when it comes to people parking,” said Shawn Patience, CAO for the Town.

Currently, there are 18 off-street parking stalls besides the hall, and room for 70 stalls on the west and south lots besides the hall. According to the town’s LUB, they need to provide one parking spot per every five users, for an estimated 65-70 spots. In addition, Patience said there had also been conversations above paving the parking lot there as well. As they prepare to tender the 2024 street program, town administration wanted to know if council wanted to tender the community hall parking lot resurfacing with it, as they may get better pricing for the two projects.

If council approves it, an early cost estimate for this project is about $300,000, and while there are other funding options, administration recommends it gets funded from the Town’s road reserves account, which currently sits at about $635,000.

Coun. Jesse Potrie asked about stormwater management for the lots. A representative from MPE engineering (Gavin Nummi), who had provided some design options, said there would be minimal change, and would tie in with the existing stormwater infrastructure in the area.

Coun. Heather Caldwell asked whether there was a plan to expand the community centre into the lot to the north. Director of Operations, Kevin Lewis said no plans had ever been drafted, it was just understood this land “could be used” for a potential future expansion.

“It actually has never been designated as a parking lot,” said Lewis. “But, as the CAO did indicate, we don’t meet our bylaw (standards) for parking at the community centre.”

As some items in closed session pertained to this project, council put off discussion until after closed session. After they returned to open session, council passed a motion to approve up to $350,000 from the Roads Reserve for hard surfacing and lining of the south and west parking lots at the community hall.

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