There are plans in place this year to rebuild a portion of Centre Street North in Mitchell.

Earlier this year, residents were presented with a $1.6 million plan. It would have seen Centre Street North rebuilt from Highway 52 to Walnut Avenue, including a portion of Market Avenue. The project would have included bringing the roadway to a higher elevation, installing subdrains, regrading the ditches, adding land drainage sewers and new culverts, and then adding a new asphalt surface.

The project would also include adding a concrete sidewalk along the entire west side of Centre Street to the baseball diamonds and rebuilding all accesses coming onto Centre Street from the side streets. 

Following that work, crews would have added a sidewalk connection from Centre Street to Birchwood Lane and a sidewalk connection down Oakview Avenue to Elm Street. And finally, crews would have installed a concrete swale along the south ditch of Walnut Avenue from Centre Street to Elm Street. 

A public hearing was scheduled for January in council chambers for the Rural Municipality of Hanover. However, the municipality received 117 written objections and the project was shelved before it ever went to a public hearing.

Now, there are plans in place for a scaled-down version.

Brad Kehler is Chair of the Local Urban District committee of Mitchell. He says instead of rebuilding from Highway 52 to Walnut Avenue this year, they will only do the stretch from Highway 52 to Birch Avenue. He notes the scope of the work for those two blocks will remain the same as what was proposed in January, as it will still involve digging down to the bottom and putting in drainage tile. They will also need to re-landscape the ditches so that the water can head north. This year's project also includes rebuilding a portion of Market Avenue.

"Initially, our plan would have been to rebuild all the way to Walnut and we would have put the drainage in as well as the sidewalk on the west side of the road," explains Kehler. 

However, he says the residents spoke out against their original plan, and the committee has listened.

"We went back to the engineers and had them split up the project into pieces so that it would make it affordable, and we could pursue it and still satisfy the citizens that have to drive along that stretch of road," says Kehler. "We are doing this on a smaller scale, but it will happen eventually as we see the road breaking up further north as well."

The shorter distance being rebuilt means the project will cost less money. Kehler says the budget will be $726,000. This will be funded through taxes collected this year by the LUD as well as approximately $280,000 coming from reserves. 

Kehler says he is not sure when the project will commence but says when the tenders went out it was clearly stated that the work must be completed by August 30th. 

Kehler assures the public that this rebuild will be considerably more extensive than the last couple of improvement projects that have taken place along that roadway. He says they want to do this right, noting the engineers have indicated that they need to excavate to a much more substantial depth.

"Now that we've discovered what is underneath, we can do a better job of recreating that road," he says. 

Kehler says it is gratifying to know that a more permanent fix is happening this year.

"We're excited about it because nobody likes driving down that road the way it is right now," he says. "Right now, we're sending the graders down there three times a week to keep it somewhat passable and we're looking forward to this."

Meanwhile, Kehler says the LUD committee is also planning a pair of pathway improvement projects this year. He notes they are upgrading the pathway from Highway 52 to Burntwood Drive and the pathway from Highway 52 to Oakenwald Crescent. Crews will be upgrading those from limestone to asphalt. Combined, those two projects are budgeted to cost about $39,000, though Kehler says tenders are coming in a little higher. Kehler says they should still be able to make this work with their budget.

This year, the LUD committee will be collecting approximately $700,000 in taxes. Kehler says their mill rate will be increasing by .5 mills to 5.5 mills.