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Infrastructure projects remain top priority for county

“Whether we get the grant or not, I say we move ahead with the dirt.” Charlie Cutforth, Ponoka County CAO

Ponoka County has made paving a few of its roads a top priority for the next couple of years, with or without provincial support.

On the list is Iola Road, Range Road 40 to Iola Road and Menaik Road.

“We’re looking at close to $1 million per mile,” said CAO Charlie Cutforth.

The Iola Road project will cost an estimated $4.7 million and includes an overlay for a section of road in Bluffton, which will cost $15,000.

It will cost another $5 million for Menaik Road and $3.4 million for Range Road 40.

Range Road 40 is not the most important road to finish but Cutforth says it could be tied in with Iola Road. However, the county does not have enough funds to financially manage all the projects themselves.

If the county receives a grant from the Building Canada Fund, both Menaik Road and the Iola and subsequent roads project can be completed in 2015.

“My recommendation is we do Iola next year out of our own operating budget,” said Cutforth.

While a project such as Menaik Road would normally be tendered in the fall for spring completion, it now fully depends on the Building Canada Fund. If the grant is not given, the county will budget the project for 2016.

“Bottom line is we need the funding, we’ve got our own capital projects to do,” said Cutforth.

“Whether we get the grant or not, I say we move ahead with the dirt,” he added.

Bridges are another expensive priority and Coun. Doug Weir wondered if there was a way to make bridge projects cheaper to allow more money for road projects.

Cutforth said the farmers who need the bridges are left wondering why money is going to other community organization donation requests instead of them.

He added when farmers go directly to the government for aid, they are diverted back to county councils because that is what the government funded MSI Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant is meant for.




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