It’s a tiny step towards the completion of the Perth arterial road, and fulfills two infrastructure initiatives in Perth’s Strategic Plan. Council voted unanimously March 20 to purchase 6 acres (2.4 ha) of land for $15,000 on the south side of Hwy #7. The property, owned by Robert Scott, has been “identified as the connection point between Hwy #7 and the proposed Perth Arterial Roadway.”
The acquisition of the land falls under Strategic Plan Initiative #3 – to develop Infrastructure Plan that supports new growth, and Strategic Plan Initiative #8 – to ensure Perth has a safe and sustainable transportation system that supports all modes of transportation.
A study done between 2006 and 2008 identified the need and preferred location for a future arterial road which would run from Craig Street, north to Hwy #7, along the east side of Perth; in 2013, a review confirmed the need and location. In 2016 a ‘centerline’ survey determined the precise location of the road. In 2017, Perth’s Transportation Masterplan reaffirmed the long term need for the road.
The land from Scott moves the completion of the arterial road forward. This is an unexpected cost to the 2018 budget, and council voted for a budget deviation of approximately $20,000 to be funded from the Capital Reserve Fund ($15,000 purchase price plus legal and survey costs.)
Mayor Fenik called the land a “key piece” for the bypass; CAO John deRosenroll called it a “seminal land purchase in the long term process” for accessing the highway. Councillor Jim Boldt asked if all bases had been covered when it came to environmental protection. Forbes Symon, Director of Development and Protective Services, acknowledged there were “at risk” species in the “low lying land with scrub brush” explaining it’s how the impact of the road development is mitigated that will be under close scrutiny.