Alberta’s economic slide last year helped cut the cost of some road projects for Ponoka County.
The winning bid for three paving and construction projects was revealed at the county council meeting on April 11 and came in significantly lower than had been anticipated.
At just under $4.8 million, Central City Paving out of Blackfalds was the successful bidder for the contract that includes paving of Menaik Road, construction and paving work to upgrade the Highway 2A and Township Road 424 intersection. As well, the paving of an industrial area, plus access points, located just off Township Road 432 on the west side of Highway 2.
“The pricing received in the bids was great, considering the Menaik Road paving (alone) was estimated to cost around $5.2 million and came in at $4 million,” stated CAO Charlie Cutforth.
A provision was built into the approval that would see administration come back to council regarding the intersection upgrade if the one partner — Gemini Corporation — doesn’t formally approve the $200,000 commitment that was verbally agreed to previously.
“The recommendation is to accept this tender for all three projects, pending confirmation of Gemini’s commitment being approved by its board of directors,” Cutforth told council.
“If we do nothing with it right now, we would still have to deal with the pavement damage on the road anyway.”
The county anticipates that approval will come in the next couple of months.
Council directed Cutforth to enter into discussions with the CAO from the Town of Rimbey regarding the costs of the services the two municipalities collaborate on such as recreation, the library and waste management.
The directive came after council was presented with the results of a small survey conducted by Cutforth on the tipping rates at nearby waste facilities. Coun. Mark Matekja requested the survey last month in order to determine if the rates being charged at its Bluffton landfill site were adequate.
While the county charges $25 per tonne for residential and $30 per tonne for commercial garbage taken to the Bluffton facility by non-residents or other municipalities such as Rimbey.
The survey showed Ponoka County is significantly lower than the municipal dumps nearby. Mountainview County (Old-Didsbury region) was the highest at $120 per tonne with Calgary next at $113 and the City of Wetaskiwin at close to $103. Edmonton’s waste management facility and Camrose’s regional facility had separate residential and non-residential rates. Edmonton was set at $62 and $92 respectively while Camrose is at $40 and $50.
Cutforth explained to council Rimbey’s usage makes up about one-third of all the garbage taken in at the Bluffton facility and has seen commercial tippage drop by about 3,000 tonnes recently, due to far less commercial and industrial construction taking place in the area.
“My suggestion would be, if the plan is to adjust our fees, is that we provide notice to Rimbey so that the cost can be incorporated into next year’s budget,” he said.
In the end, council decided it would be best to have some input from Rimbey on this fee as well as discuss the other programs the two municipalities collaborate on in order to get a better picture for the future. Once that is completed and council receives a report on the discussions, a decision on what to do with the tipping fee will be made.