A lot of work has been done with more to come before the construction season is finished for Ponoka County.
Council was provided an update on the many projects by Public Works superintendent Herb Schwingel at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 23.
The chip seal work is complete on six of the 10 projects scheduled to be done this year, with the one kilometre of Arbor Park Road is taking a lot more time than initially thought.
“There was a lot of prep work that needed to be done including hauling out the wet and poor road materials then replacing it. It’s all about having a good base,” Schwingel stated. “Now that the base is complete, the work will begin soon on getting the chip seal done when the weather allows.”
And it’s been mostly the wet weather that has been holding up other projects from completion he added, with fencing and clean up work yet to be done on the four miles of grade work that is finished on Range Road 43 north of Township Road 442 (Menaik Road) as well as the 5.5 miles of grade work done on Menaik east of Highway 2.
Local road only
Later in the meeting there was another road discussion, this one about a local road in the Chain Lakes area.
Chief administrative officer (CAO) Charlie Cutforth brought forward, during his report, a request from a resident of the area to have either the road closed or upgraded to a county standard as the resident has had to rescue some non-locals from the road after they get stuck.
Cutforth explained the road, which runs between the lakes and is a bit of a shortcut for many local residents, has been the subject of discussions for several years.
“The resident is tired of rescuing people that head down the road following bad weather and this road is barely passable even with the weather has been good,” he told council.
“It’s basically a machinery road access. (Schwingel) has looked at it and the banks are eroding causing it to become unstable plus it is steep with some spots having a tendency to wash out. It would be be a major cost to upgrade and maintain plus closing it would cause a problem for other residents.”
Council accepted his recommendation to keep the road open as seasonal and look at placing more signage – such as ‘Seasonal – Use at own risk’ – on the road.
The county’s budget continues to look good overall, according to Cutforth’s report, which allowed council to approve a pair of tax penalty cancellation requests totalling $3,200 along with a few expenditures – which included $5,000 more to help cover part of the shortfall in the Ponoka Elementary playground project, up to $130,000 to purchase a water tender for the West District Fire Department at an upcoming auction sale and to provide some financial assistance to county residents for chemicals to help eradicate the invasive hawkweed that is becoming troublesome in the region.