North Grenville council passed a resolution at their last meeting to hire engineering consultancy firm WSP to put together a conceptual engineering and landscape design for the hamlet of Burritts Rapids.
The municipality has been working closely with the residents of Burritts Rapids since 2015 to identify design standards for the unique and historic community, as a means to facilitate a solution that would satisfy both the residents of the hamlet and the municipality to a number of their concerns. With the input of the Burritts Rapids Community Association and other stakeholders, the standards were identified and an outline for the conceptual design was created. As outlined in the RFP, which went to tender in August, the conceptual design will focus on right-of-way modifications, including storm water management, multi-modal transportation, and connectivity, parking, illumination, landscaping and streetscaping, while maintaining the historic character on the community.
Although the municipality received three applications as a result of the tender, the only one that fully addressed both the engineering and landscaping sides of the project was from WSP. Their proposal for the project came in at $102,163, including tax, which is about $15,000 above the budgeted allotment for the project. Director of Public Works, Karen Dunlop, says the design will be paid for through a small Burritts Rapids reserve, Public Works general reserves, and the consulting engineering line item in the 2020 budget. The excess $15,000 will come from money that was not spent on the installation of the PXO crossing on Concession Road.
Mayor Peckford said that it was great to see this project come to the table after many years of consultation with the community in Burritts Rapids. She knew they have a distinct desire to see some redesign and road adjustments to their main thoroughfare, and she hoped that the fact that the municipality has committed to engaging a third party firm to create the conceptual design will be welcome news. Councillor John Barclay thought that this was a great response from Public Works to the concerns of the residents of Burritts Rapids.
“It is a unique historic community, and I think it is very important that we reserve those qualities; but, at the same time, take care of certain operational needs. So this is threading the eye of the needle as far as I am concerned,” he said. Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman agreed with Councillor Barclay, stating that he believes it was a great collaboration between the municipality and the Burritts Rapids community. “Kudos to the Burritts Rapids community for stepping up and doing a lot of the legwork that they did in the initial phase of it,” he commented.
Now that WSP has been hired to complete the conceptual design, they will be holding two consultations with the Burritts Rapids community and one with council as part of their process. Director Dunlop says the design should be finalized sometime in February.