By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express
The region is continuing to purchase Oshawa properties in order to make a planned connection between Gibb Street and Olive Avenue a reality.
At the latest meeting of the region’s works department, councillors agreed to spend $191,000 to purchase 250 Olive Avenue. An additional $35,000 has also been set aside for the demolition of the house.
To date, approximately 40 of the 67 property purchases needed for the project have been completed.
“We’re getting more and more of them as we go, and we’re doing that on an as-available basis,” James Garland, one of the members of the project team for the expansion, tells The Oshawa Express. “So when a property owner wants to move, we see that it goes up for sale and we say that we’re interested in buying it.”
According to a report submitted to the region’s works committee, approximately $18.2 million is expected to be spent in total for the acquisition of properties leading up to the expected 2021 start date for the project.
“(In the projected construction forecast), we have construction between Stevenson and Simcoe occurring in 2021, and we have construction through the new construction area from Simcoe over to Ritson happening in 2024,” says Garland.
If properties are still occupied at that time, the region will move to buy properties directly from the homeowners and not wait until they go on the market, he adds.
“The route would not likely get changed because we can’t buy a property. Instead, the route would be waiting until (we complete) the expropriation of property. So when we have a project that’s imminent, we switch from buying when they become available to buying because we need it,” says Glyn Reedman, another member of the project team. “When the region does that, that triggers a…different relationship between the seller and the region. Right now, we try to pay market value for houses. When you get into expropriation, then at that point, residents are entitled to other costs like moving costs and things like that.”
Reedman adds the costs are called for because the move is “triggered by the region’s need, not the resident’s need.”