“By-Law Number M-18: A By-Law respecting excavation of streets in the City of Saint John” was approved on August 30, 2010.
The new excavation by-law provides better accountability to the City when it comes to changes to the City’s streets and right-of-ways.
Surface reinstatement responsibility
The responsibility for completing the surface restoration is shifted to the City. When an applicant takes out a permit, a deposit will be paid to cover the costs of the reinstatement. The applicant is responsible for notifying the City when the excavation is ready for reinstatement, after which time the City will have the reinstatement completed. This will ensure that the reinstatement is completed in a timely fashion and according to the General Specifications.
The fee is now $250, which more effectively covers the cost of the process.
Pavement Degradation Fee
This fee takes into account the reduction in life of the asphalt pavement due to cutting into the surface, and is based on the size of the excavation, as well as the age of the asphalt surface.
The amount of insurance coverage the applicant must carry has been increased to $2,000,000, with the City added as an additional insured. The applicant is also required to sign an indemnity agreement with the City for the work carried out under the Excavation Permit.
Access to private property
When an individual wants to add an access to private property (i.e, cutting a curb for a driveway), the individual will take out an Excavation Permit and the City will perform the work so as to better meet the general specifications.
Provisions for utility companies
The City may issue an annual permit to a utility company that does not have an access agreement already in place with the City (as in the case with Enbridge and Bell Aliant).
Ability to refuse to issue Excavation Permit
The City now has a clearly defined ability to refuse the permit, along with the reasons why the City may choose to not issue an Excavation Permit.
Penalties for not following the By-Law
Under the new By-Law, the range for the penalty has increased to $250 to $1,070 for any violation. Any person who has violated the By-Law may pay a voluntary fine of $175 to avoid futher prosecution, provided that violation has been corrected to the City’s satisfaction. Also, any individual excavating within the public right-of-way without a valid permit will be notified to stop work and immediately apply for an Excavation Permit. An additional $200 fee will be applied.