Do you have a question you’d like to see put to the Langley Township council? Email your idea to <a href="mailto:editor@langleyadvancetimes.com" target="_blank">editor@langleyadvancetimes.com.</a>

Do you have a question you’d like to see put to the Langley Township council? Email your idea to editor@langleyadvancetimes.com.

ADVANCE TIMES EXCLUSIVE

AT YOUR SERVICE: Most of council content with current pothole repairs

Question-and-answer feature calling on those elected to office in Langley

Langley Advance Times is offering this weekly feature called it “At Your Service.”

It’s another forum in which to put questions to our local politicians about key issues facing our community and its residents.

Using a basic question-and-answer format, elected officials will be asked one question at a time and given the opportunity to respond (to a maximum of 250 words) on that said issue.

Alternating between elected groups, Langley City and Langley Township councils, Langley school board, Langley MLAs, and Langley MPs each have a chance to participate.

The answers provided will be published in their entirety online Sundays.

MOST RECENT – AT YOUR SERVICE: Empty homes can be safety concern, but not huge concern in City

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QUESTION

Langley Township council was asked: Should the Township devote more resources to fixing potholes?

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ANSWERS

Mayor Jack Froese

A. No, current funding meets the demand.

After a bad winter, if more funds are needed to facilitate repairs, funds are used from existing road maintenance budgets.

If you see a pothole, please report it at https://www.tol.ca/at-your-service/how-can-we-help/roads/pothole/

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Councillor Petrina Arnason

A. The Township of Langley has approximately 900 kilometres of roadways. Maintenance is planned and budgeted annually by Township staff based on upgrading projections for works, such as pothole repair, to full road reconstruction.

We have developed a proactive pothole program, which is initiated every spring.

Information for this pothole detection program is provided by the public through an online repair request portal located at https://www.tol.ca/at-your-service/how-can-we-help/roads/pothole/, and supplemented by crew patrols that review known problem areas.

Pothole repair funding is included in the annual maintenance budget.

Given fluctuations in the numbers and magnitude of the problem, our funding system has been developed to provide flexibility so that either more, or less, can be spent annually on potholes.

I very much appreciate the program, which primarily relies on the public’s assistance so that potholes can be promptly attended to, which also benefits the broader community by saving the aggravation and potential expense of a pothole encounter.

I support the current system of an annual allowance in the yearly budget, which is fiscally prudent, as we try to keep tax increases to a minimum, and a good management practice given that early intervention in pothole repair actually decreases future costs by not allowing further deterioration and larger maintenance costs in the longer term.

The question of any changes to this specific funding allocation should be reviewed annually to consider any necessary top ups to enhance our existing repair program.

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Councillor David Davis

A. This councillor failed to reply to this query, prior to deadline.

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Councillor Steve Ferguson

A. Yes. There are approximately 900 kilometres of roads in the Township of Langley.

Most new road networks are constructed through development. Over the last two years, we have constructed approximately four kilometres of new roads… and growing.

Now, if you let a pothole grow and grow, next thing you have to do is replace the whole road…. Not a good idea.

So we have to make sure we fix the potholes immediately!!!!!!

The Township utilizes a variety of techniques as part of its comprehensive pavement management program, including pothole repairs, crack sealing, asphalt paving, grinding and patching, and full road reconstruction.

Please note that our pothole program consists of a combination of pro-active inspections in the spring, but also relies on the public to notify us. In addition, our crews patrol known problem areas.

Since we are talking about roads, It is extremely important to get four lanes on 208th Street and surrounding Willoughby roads. A number of major collector roads to the freeway. And 24-hour opening of the Aldergrove border since there have been huge road improvements on both sides of the border.

Roads are important!

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Councillor Margaret Kunst

A. Yes!

It is important to ensure we provide the necessary resources to fix the potholes or they will take on a life of their own.

If there is a pothole that needs attention please report it at: tol.ca/pothole

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Councillor Bob Long

A. Year after year, Township council budgets for road maintenance are underfunded.

This year, council set a tax increase prior to even considering the needs.

Sadly, many council members are more interested in “playing politics,” rather than listening to staff and providing the resources required.

However, The Township has a “report a pothole program” that is very effective. One can report online or by phone.

The extreme weather conditions we have experienced over the last few years has certainly increased the amount and size of potholes.

The many kilometres of roads we have in the Township also poses a challenge to get them all repaired, but staff do respond in a timely fashion when one is reported.

You can help out by reporting ones that you see.

Here is the link: https://www.tol.ca/potholes/

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Councillor Kim Richter

A. As this particular Langley Advance Times “At Your Service” question was sent to members of Langley Township council on the morning of April 1, 2022, I feel the need to ask if this was intended to be an April Fool’s Joke?

If yes, then my response is: “What a great April Fool’s question this is from our local media.”

If it is not an April Fool’s joke, then my response is to ask Township residents to please report all potholes to opsinfo@tol.ca or call the Township Pothole Hotline/Public Works at 604-532-7300.

This service has been available to all Township residents for many years now.

Township staff usually respond as soon as they are notified where potholes are.

Even though staff take a proactive inspection approach to patrolling known problem areas each spring, they also rely on help from the public in identifying new problem areas.

If for some reason, staff do not respond within a week, then please email either enginfo@tol.ca or mayorcouncil@tol.ca for further action.

I do not think we need more resources for fixing potholes at this time.

The Township utilizes a variety of techniques as part of its comprehensive pavement management program, including pothole repairs, crack sealing, asphalt paving, grinding and patching, and full road reconstruction.

The number of pothole repairs fluctuates from year to year depending on the severity of the winter.

In 2020, Township staff completed ±4400 repairs. In 2021, staff completed ±2800 repairs, and so far in 2022 they have completed ±1700 repairs.

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Councillor Blair Whitmarsh

A. The Township of Langley is one of the fastest growing communities in British Columbia with thousands of new people arriving each year.

Growth brings with it new opportunities, new housing projects, new roads and infrastructure, and of course, more vehicles on the road.

The annual budget for TOL does include a considerable amount of money for annual paving and road repairs. In addition, a few years ago, council did approve annual increases to the paving and road repair budget.

At the same time, council wants to keep property tax increases as low as possible – particularly with the financial challenges that many have faced in the last two years. The desire to keep tax increases low, at the same time as meeting the needs of our growing community, is always a challenge.

Yes, I would love for us to devote more resources for fixing potholes.

I also know how important it is to meet the other needs in our growing community and to keep tax increases at an appropriate level.

As our economy continues to improve we will have more resources to meet our needs.

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Councillor Eric Woodward

A. Yes, most definitely.

We have significant road maintenance issues within our community, including potholes, but also sidewalks, safe routes to parks and schools, and even the lack of snow removal service, which we saw first-hand this past winter.

For the taxes we already pay, I believe residents deserve basic, well-maintained road and sidewalk infrastructure to get around.

Left to worsen year after year, our urban and rural road infrastructure just hasn’t been the priority it needs to be – 208th Street and 80th Avenue highlight this each and every day, especially.

We can do better, but we must also expect and demand better.

I am very much looking forward to outlining my vision for progress on our road infrastructure, and many other issues, during the upcoming municipal election later this year.

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UP NEXT

Next week’s Langley school district trustees are being asked: After a stressful couple of years, what should the district do to ensure that it retains skilled and experienced staff?

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Watch for their answers online Sunday.

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Langley Townshipmunicipal politics