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County celebrates start of paving projects

The County of Barrhead is digging into two paving project worth a combined total of more than $3 million. Crews will begin preparing Township Road 615A for paving within the next couple of weeks.

The County of Barrhead is digging into two paving project worth a combined total of more than $3 million.

Crews will begin preparing Township Road 615A for paving within the next couple of weeks. The County does not have a paving crew or the equipment to complete the job, so it is contracted out, said County manager Mark Oberg. The total cost for this project is $1.575 million, with $1.365 million provided through the County’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant. A total of 3.2 km will be paved, and it will take about two weeks to complete.

Following that project, crews will focus their attention on a four-km stretch on Township Road 594 in the Neerlandia area. The total cost of this project is $1.47 million, with $1.4 million provided through MSI funds.

MSI funding will cover 91 per cent of the total cost for the two projects. Minister of Municipal Affairs Hector Goudreau joined County council and Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Ken Kowalski to announce the start of the road-paving projects.

“The entire province places a great deal of value on the MSI program,” Goudreau said. “Alberta committed $11.3 billion to the MSI program to date. This year, the province will provide $886 million through this program, and we’re hoping to increase that to about $1.4 billion per year for a number of years.”

The MSI program allows municipalities to pick and choose their priorities, Goudreau said, as the province has put very broad parameters around the program. The County of Barr-head paving projects are but two of the thousands of projects being funded through MSI.

“This is a very good example of what MSI can do,” Gourdreau said of the two paving projects. “This will no doubt enhance the quality of life and increase the safety of everybody who uses these roads. We hope municipalities will take advantage of the MSI program and continue to grow to meet the needs of their ratepayers.”

The County will receive $1.612 million in MSI funding in 2011, of which $1.39 million is for capital projects and about $215,000 is for operating costs. The County has funds left over from 2010, and put that money towards this year’s projects, Oberg said. Other MSI capital projects taking place in the County of Barrhead include the paving of Township Road 590 for $1.2 million, the paving of Range Road 25 for a total of $461,574, and the purchase of a compactor with the Town of Barrhead for a total of $184,000.

Since the MSI program was launched in 2007, the County has received about $1.2 million in funding for operating projects, which include nearly $300,000 for local and regional library services, $125,000 to support regional landfill operations, about $230,000 for the regional fire department, and $315,000 for the Agrena and swimming pool operating expenses.

MSI is a made-in Alberta program that allows municipalities to focus on local priorities and meet the needs of their residents, Kowalski said.

Other road construction work that will take place this year includes: West of NW 33-58-4-W5, road reconstruction of 0.25 miles at a cost of $25,000; West of 30 and 31-59-3-W5, road reconstruction of two miles at a cost of $350,000; West of NW 16-59-4-W5 and West of 21-59-4-W5 road reconstruction of 1.5 miles at a cost of $135,000; West of 14-61-3-W5, road reconstruction of one mile at a cost of $110,000; South of 1-60-5-W5, road reconstruction of one mile at a cost of $35,000; Through 34-61-3-W5, road reconstruction of one mile at a cost of $125,000; Through 32 and 33-61-3-W5, road reconstruction of two miles at a cost of $140,000.

The County also approved a number of road maintenance programs:

• Division 1: Gravel - $126,100 over 51 miles; Oil - $76,000 over 2.5 miles; Miscellaneous - $10,000 for a total of $212,100.

• Division 2: Gravel - $143,000 over 52.75 miles; Oil - $32,000 over one mile; Misc. - $10,000 for a total of $185,000.

• Division 3: Gravel - $141,700 over 48.5 miles; Oil - $67,000 over 2.5 miles; Misc. - $10,000 for a total of $218,700.

• Division 4: Gravel - $113,100 over 40.5 miles; Oil - $72,000 over three miles; Misc. - $10,000 for a total of $195,100.

• Division 5: Gravel - $115,700 over 39.5 miles; Oil - $80,000 over four miles; Misc. - $10,000 for a total of $205,700.

• Division 6: Gravel - $137,800 over 51 miles; Oil - $64,000 over two miles; Misc. - $10,000 for a total of $211,800.

• Division 7: Gravel - $137,800 over 52.5 miles; Oil - $25,000 over four miles; Misc. - $10,000 for a total of $172,800.





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