Rossland City Council has decided not to get rid of the staircase leading from Leroi Avenue down to Lower Rossland.
Following a request from city staff at a special council meeting on July 31, council considered whether or not to decommission the stairs and sought feedback from the public. On Monday, Aug. 14, council made its decision.
“We got lots of people who want us to keep the stairs,” said Mayor Kathy Moore. “There was a suggestion that perhaps we could leave them decommisioned this year, and see if people adapt to the new sidewalk — we’d encourage people to use the new sidewalk — and then revisit this next year, and put them back together or take them away, depending.”
Coun. Andy Morel was in favour of keeping the stairs.
“I think for me, it’s really important that we continue to support our pedestrian access around our whole community,” he said. “I know there’s great discussion about how wonderful this new sidewalk’s going to be, that’s going to be along Leroi and onto Davis, but there’s substantial extra length in people walking if they’re going to go all the way up to Davis from a good part of Lower Rossland to access that sidewalk.”
City staff had proposed that no only the new sidewalk, but also an upgrade to the trail behind Ferraro’s would make up for removing the stairs.
Coun. Lloyd McLellan was opposed to keeping the stairs due to the cost.
The City of Rossland’s 2017-2021 Financial Plan has the stairs slated for replacement at a cost of $100,000 — $50,000 in 2018 and another $50,000 in 2019. Meanwhile the current Spokane-Leroi Infrastructure Project has also incurred some costs for the stairs, as “a small section of these stairs is to be removed and rebuilt to help accommodate a new wall and 3.0 metre sidewalk along the south side of Leroi Avenue.”
“There is some money that we’re going to have to cover because we had to cut them off for the new road construction on Leroi. So that cost of reattaching them and … it’s also going to come up steeper,” explains Darrin Albo, manager of public works.
In a report submitted to council, staff pointed out that getting rid of the stairs would not only remove the stair case replacement project as a future expense, but would also reduce costs for the current infrastructure project.
Staff also “attempted to get updated quotes from local contractors” for the stair case replacement project and now estimate the total at $115,000 before tax.
Albo wanted council to decide whether or not they wanted to get rid of the stairs now because the new sidewalk will be built to accommodate the stairs.
“If council did decide to remove the stairs [after the fact], it would have just looked a little bit odd,” he explained.
Albo also said the stairs don’t necessarily need to be replaced right away.
“We are going to beef them up. Probably give them a paint job and they’re probably good for 10 years,” he said.