New fees, standards proposed for utility cuts in PoCo roads

Pavement restoration rules and degradation fees planned for builders, developers and third-party utility companies working in Port Coquitlam.

Builders, developers and other companies that cut into Port Coquitlam roads to put in utilities will soon face new rules and fees.

Yesterday (Tuesday), PoCo’s committee of council asked staff to set up pavement restoration rules in the city’s servicing bylaw — which is being updated as part of the official community plan review — and change the fees and charges bylaw to collect pavement degradation charges.

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Such fees are common in Metro Vancouver and are currently used in Coquitlam, Vancouver, Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford to compensate municipalities for shortening pavement lifespans.

If approved by council in the new year, PoCo’s degradation levy would be:

• $20 per square metre for pavement less than five years old;

• and $10 per square metre for pavement between five and 15 years old.

There would be no fee applied for older pavement.

Funds collected will go into the city’s road rehabilitation reserve.

Besides the degradation fee, the city is considering pavement rehabilitation standards to ensure high quality and consistent repairs, said Melony Burton, PoCo’s manager of infrastructure planning. That proposed policy — designed to avoid a patchwork of potholes — sets a minimum for materials, compaction and thickness, among other things, for cuts and repair work.

The aim of the proposed measures is to protect the city’s road investments: Of its 241 km of paved streets, PoCo has spent $23 million on updates since 2017; another $3.4 million in road rehabilitation is on the books for 2021.

Coun. Darrell Penner suggested the city include a sliding scale, with higher fees for utility digs on recently paved roads, and recommended a close monitoring of the repair work.

“Nothing irks people more than having [a road] torn up and not sufficiently replaced,” Coun. Dean Washington added. 

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