BARRHEAD - Woodlands County will be partnering with Thorhild County and the MD of Greenview to jointly apply for a provincial grant to carry out a three-part project that will allow for greater efficiency in maintaining the road network in each municipality.
Woodlands County councillors passed a resolution at their Jan. 19 meeting to direct staff to apply for the Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) grant from Alberta Municipal Affairs — Woodlands will act as the managing partner.
Director of infrastructure Andre Bachand noted that the 2021 budget already includes $50,000 to conduct a road needs study with the goal of assisting staff and council in prioritizing infrastructure that need to be updated and upgraded on an annual basis.
When administration looked into the matter, they determined that Alberta Municipal Affairs had the ACP grant set aside for municipal partnerships to conduct a similar study.
Bachand said discussions were held with neighbouring municipalities to determine if any of them would be interested in forming such a partnership. Both Thorhild and Greenview — which are located east and west of Woodlands County respectively — indicated they wanted to be partners in this project.
As indicated earlier, this project has three parts, the first being the creation of a co-ordinated Rural Road Data Collection Framework.
The second part of the project is the actual collection of road condition data, while the third part is the creation of Rural Road Studies to review and summarize road condition data across all three municipalities.
Besides providing more efficiency in maintaining road networks, Bachand said they hope to get a “clearer picture” of opportunities to share resources across the three municipalities and to improve future in-house data collection and asset investment through this project.
Collectively, the three municipalities are seeking $263,000 to pay for software, training and guidance through Munisight, which is Woodlands’ current GIS (Geographical Information System) provider.
“It sounds like it gets us closer to our idea of finally implementing a good asset management system and getting us a little further along our tactical plan,” mayor John Burrows commented.
Bachand responded that was indeed the case. With no further questions, council promptly passed the resolution by a unanimous vote.