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Mayoral candidates in for rough ride solving Barrie's road woes

While Barrie continues to grow, some areas of the city have new roads as development takes place, while older areas of the city sometimes have more potholes and patching

What do Barrie’s seven candidates for mayor think about the city’s most important issues as election day approaches on Oct. 24?

Gerry Marshall, Mike McCann, Barry Ward, Andrew Gordon, Weldon Hachey, and Alex Nuttall responded to six questions asked by BarrieToday about a variety of issues facing the city. Rob Haverson did not respond.

They were asked: Should the next council spend more money on Barrie road repairs or resurfacing? Where would that money come from?

The condition of Barrie’s roads has long been a contentious issue, depending in which part of the city you live. East-enders have the oldest streets and often, but not always, the most potholes and asphalt patching. In parts of south Barrie, the former Innisfil land, the streets are still being reconstructed to meet city standards. It’s not like there isn’t roadwork in Barrie. Motorists know too well of the detours from summer construction. Is spending more money the answer?

Gerry Marshall

Roads are the No. 1 municipal asset our residents use daily. We absolutely need to increase efforts to improve our road network. Beyond what council traditionally allocates via taxation revenue, council needs to complete a deep dive into departmental budgets to see where savings can occur, and point savings found toward our roads. To achieve the highest volume discounts on materials, we need to tender our road repair and resurfacing materials with other municipalities utilizing the same products. We need to ensure we have road-related projects identified well in advance and prepare white paper business cases for each so that we are ready to submit shovel-ready projects that can be funded by the provincial and federal governments providing relief to our residential tax burden. 

Mike McCann

As a council, we need to ensure that our assets like roads are maintained in a good state of repair, including road restoration and road resurfacing. By maintaining our assets we prevent costly repairs in the future. Our dedicated infrastructure fund is the source for repairing and resurfacing our roads.

Barry Ward

We have been spending more money on roads each year for more than 10 years, thanks largely to the one per cent “infrastructure levy” introduced by a previous council and supported unanimously by subsequent councils. I want to see this continue because it is the best way to ensure we are spending more on infrastructure.

Andrew Gordon

Road repairs are important. With our ever-fluctuating climate, these need to be done in a timely fashion. The city can use debentures to amortize the costs over the life expectancy of the roads.

Weldon Hachey

Have you seen the road maintenance this summer? It looks like everything’s getting fixed all at once. Maybe a little better planning to avoid the gridlock is helpful.

Alex Nuttall

By prioritizing road works and maintenance in Barrie, we will not only keep our families safe and vehicles in good condition, but also create economic opportunities for commercial and industrial growth in our community. We can allocate funds from the budget to fixing our roads, and not have to dig further into taxpayers’ pockets. By cutting useless spending and maintaining the capitol surcharge we can work on infrastructure improvements to eliminate basketball-sized potholes on our roads.