Councillors fight over
By AMY PUGSLEY
FRASER / City Hall Reporter
Dartmouth-area councillors went head-to-head Tuesday night
over a new highway interchange that will service big-box
stores in the Burnside Park extension.
Council approved an additional $1.1 million in municipal
funding for the interchange, which will be built on Highway
118 near Shubie Park, but not without a bit of contentious
The added costs are due to increases in price to the about
$12.6-million interchange, which is being primarily funded by
the provincial government. The total municipal share will be
approximately $3.276 million - or roughly 26 per cent. Coun.
Andrew Younger (East Dartmouth-The Lakes), who has lately
raised concerns over the effects recent construction and heavy
rainfall have had on the siltation levels in nearby Lake Mic
Mac, said that the costs - both environmental and financial -
were too high.
Likewise, Coun. Gloria McCluskey (Dartmouth Centre) said
the interchange should be put on hold until the root of the
siltation problem is found.
"Burnside already has six access ways, so it's not
deprived," she said.
There is something "fundamentally wrong," agreed Coun.
Krista Snow (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank), when the city
allows siltation to go into lakes. Coun. Steve Streatch
(Eastern Shore-Musquodoboit Valley) disagreed, noting that the
run-off was just "mud," not something like diesel fuel,
radioactive material or sewage.
"This is not the end of a beautiful lake," he said.
Coun. Jim Smith (Albro Lake-Harbourview) said the
interchange will make the expansion of Burnside Park a
reality. Stores like The Brick and Ikea are rumoured to be
going there once the extension opens in the fall of 2006.
Those stores will bring 15,000 jobs to the area, hopefully
for the residents of his district, he said.
"Thousands of full-time jobs are at stake for the area of
north Dartmouth . . . an area that is disadvantaged."
He pointed out the siltation levels from construction have
been decreased since November and the interchange will be
located in an area now home to an asphalt plant, a quarry and
Coun. Harry McInroy (Cole Harbour) said the interchange was
a deal for Halifax. With the city paying only 26 per cent, "it
makes an awful lot of sense."
Other councillors, like Linda Mosher (Purcells
Cove-Armdale), wondered how the city could come up with more
than $1 million on short notice.
Financial staffers said the money would come out of future
budgets earmarked for "traffic planning contingencies" and