City to test out beet juice on winter roads
City manager Jean-Marc Nadeau and Coun. Ryan Espey pictured at Monday's city council meeting where it was agreed letters should be sent out to residents to get their feedback on the potential site for the city's first off-leash dog park. Feedback can be submitted either via letter to City Hall or in person at the April 22 meeting of council. (ROBIN DUDGEON/THE GRAPHIC/QMI AGENCY)
The City of Portage la Prairie will be among those municipalities experimenting with the use of beet sugar on winter roads after a tender was awarded at Monday’s council meeting.
The City approved a tender of granular materials for the 2013-2014 winter season, which included limestone, as well as a mixture of sand and beet juice to be used on winter roads. The tender was awarded to Gravier Collet Gravel Inc. for the amount of $117,275.26, which comes in $32,000 under budget.
“We are switching from the standard mixture of sand and salt for our winter roads to a mixture that includes beet juice as an antifreeze instead of salt,” said Coun. Brent Froese, chair of the Transportation Committee. “It reduces the amount of salt in our road sand by about 75 per cent from a six per cent mix of sodium chloride to under two per cent.”
The sand/beet juice mixture costs about $25 per tonne, which will cost about $5,000 more than the sand/sodium chloride mixture, which costs $15.25 per tonne.
“The beet juice has some advantages. Not only is it an agricultural byproduct that is suitable for Portage la Prairie but also it does several things for the environment: it prevents the salt runoff into the lake and onto the vegetation on the roadsides, it’s not a corrosive to the road surface or to vehicles,” said Froese.
The city has done small tests in the past, but the mix will come into all the roads in 2013-2014.
Off-leash dog park
Further measures have been taken in establishing Portage la Prairie’s first off-leash dog park during Monday’s council meeting.
The city agreed to send letters to nearby residents about possibly establishing the park east of the city compost site.
“We have a site selection, which is not finalized of course. That is going back as a courtesy to the adjacent homeowners to express their concerns. We’ll see what they have to say,” said Coun. Ryan Espey, who chairs the Public Safety Committee.
After much consideration the site was chosen as it already fit the zoning requirement as well as a number of other considerations.
“There were several considerations, the area of the city being one of them. We needed, ideally, an area that didn’t need a great deal of development; had a lot of open space; had access to a road for parking and things of that nature,” said Espey. “It was the one that made sense to us when looking at the city properties that were available.”
City residents are able to express their concerns either in writing or by appearing as part of a delegation at the Apr. 22 council meeting.
“If there is no concerns raised then we can move to the next step. If there are concerns raised then hopefully we can address those concerns to the satisfaction of the people raising them. The worst case scenario is we relook at site selection,” said Espey.
Rezoning applications examined
Rezoning of the property at 687 Tupper St. North from ‘C1’ Neighbourhood Commercial to ‘R3’ Residential Multiple Family was given second and third reading at Monday’s council meeting.
The applicant, 6597450 Manitoba Ltd., wishes to build multi family dwelling units on the site.
As of yet no concerns have been heard from the neighbours in the area.
Mayor and council also heard a rezoning application for a property at 213 Alfred Ave., which received first reading.
Owners Ken and Sharon Beauchamp wish to rezone the property from a ‘R1’ Residential Single Family to a ‘C1’ Neighbourhood Commercial property.
The shop was built in the 1970s and currently includes a suite, which does not meet the zoning bylaw. The couple wishes to remedy this.
No concerns have been expressed.