By Cole Parkinson
The Municipal District of Taber is going forward with Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program applications for a variety of different projects.
Bridge file 84230 (south of Highway 3 on Range Road 13-5), bridge file 80401 (Township Road 10-2 east on Range Road 13-1, east of Grassy Lake), bridge file 80180 (southwest of Enchant), bridge file 80118 (southwest of Enchant) and bridge file 80175 (directly north of Retlaw) have applications for STIP Local Road Bridges program.
All STIP Local Road Bridge projects are 75 per cent funded by the provincial government and 25 per cent by the M.D.
Project total costs are $170,000 for BF 84230, $300,972 for BF 80401, $1,107,361 for BF 80180, $1,109,953 for BF 80118 and $1,126,073 for BF 80175.
M.D. of Taber contribution to the STIP Local Road Bridge Program is estimated to be at $953,589.75.
Taber Airport runway expansion, Taber Airport apron extension and Vauxhall Airport apron extension are under the STIP Local Municipal Initiative.
All STIP Local Municipal Initiatives are funded 50 per cent each by the M.D. and the provincial government.
Taber Airport runway extension by 310 metres has a total cost of $950,000, Taber Airport apron expansion has a total of $1,036,767.04 and the Vauxhall Airport apron expansion has a total of $192,099.60.
Total M.D. of Taber contributions is estimated to be are $1,089,433.32.
The final project is the Range Road 18-2 south of Highway 526 which is under the Resource Road Program.
The total project cost is at $450,000 and is funded 50 per cent each by the M.D. and the provincial government.
Total M.D. contribution toward the Resource Road Program is estimated to be $225,000 with total STIP M.D. funding estimated to be $2,268,023.07.
“The application deadline is coming up at the end of November. This year they have funded the Local Road Bridge Program for $16.4 million, Resource Road Program at $6.3 million, Local Municipal Initiative at $5.1 million and the Community Airport Program at $2.3 million. That’s a total of just over $30 million,” said Craig Pittman, director of infrastructure. “In the past, we have used the shotgun an approach a little bit, we’ve thrown quite a few applications at them. It has worked well for us as Wayne Gretzky says ‘you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take’.”
With the M.D. taking the approach of going for all of the projects at once, there was some apprehension as they would be on the hook for a big chunk of money if all projects were accepted.
“The only problem is if our shotgun hits a bullseye on them all, we have to come up with a whack of money,” said Coun. Brian Brewin.
It was pointed out to council that getting all projects approved at once rarely happens.
“That’s happened once that I can remember, we got five but they were smaller ones,” said Jack Dunsmore, an M.D. contract worker.
With the M.D. attempting to get a number of bridges fixed over the past several years, they also realized it may be best to get them all done when they have the opportunity.
“As far as bridges seem, it would be better off to borrow money and get them done because you never know,” added Brewin, which council seemed to be in favour of.
As nine projects were brought forward for STIP applications, council asked if any of them were more serious than the others and how they were divided into different programs.
“The five bridges would be an application for the Local Road Bridge Program for funding. The Taber Airport runway expansion, Taber Airport Apron expansion and the Vauxhall Airport apron expansion fit best into the Local Municipal Initiative versus the Community Airport Program due to some of the restraints in that program for asphalt and things like that. The last one would be Range Road 18-2 south of Highway 526, that goes to the feedlot. We feel that meets the parameters and would be a strong candidate for the Resource Road Program due to the feedlot traffic volumes,” said Pittman. “When it’s all said and done, as far as the total Local Road Bridge, the M.D. contribution should we get approved for all of them would be just south of $1 million, estimated of course. The Local Municipal Initiative would be just north of $1 million estimated. The Total Road Resource Program, the potential M.D. contribution would be $225,000, again those are estimates.”
Council also had questions around the Range Road 18-2 project.
Range Road 18-2 has had problems in the past and council wondered if it had been rebuilt at all in the past.
“I believe that we did get that approved but the tender price came in so high that we said no we’re going to hold off,” said Dunsmore.
He also answered a council question around the M.D.’s bridge value.
“I think with bridges we’re third highest in the province, dollar value wise,” added Dunsmore.
Council made a motion to apply for all projects and was unanimously passed by council.