The County of Wetaskiwin council voted 5-2 against granting a City of Wetaskiwin request for funds to help upgrade the intersection at Hwy. #13 and Sec. Hwy. #814, at their regular council meeting Aug. 13.
The request letter was presented by county CAO Rod Hawken. “On July 23, 2019 an email was received from City of Wetaskiwin CAO, Peter Tarnawsky regarding the intersection of SH814 and H13 with the following request: ‘Further to the earlier direction from my Council that I explore willingness of the County to Cost Share, please ask your Council to their openness to share in this intersection upgrade.’”
The city manager’s email contained a number of options, including a three-way cost sharing agreement between the city, county and provincial government.
Tarnawsky’s email continued, “The engineered report offered four (4) options: Option 1 – Modified Lane ReAssignment (Design Speed 90 km/hr) – $375,000, Option 2 – Modified Lane ReAssignment (Design Speed 70 km/hr) – $275,000, Option 3 – Existing Lane Configuration (Design Speed 70 km/hr) – $325,000 and Option 4 – Single-lane Modern Roundabout – $1,800,000.
“The intersection of 47 Street, Hiway 13 and SH 814 is currently funded for capital based on 75% City of Wetaskiwin and 25% Province of Alberta.”
Hawken noted that no county road is part of that intersection. “We all have our roads, we all have our intersections, we are all responsible for them,” said Hawken.
Reeve Terry Van de Kraats said he attended a meeting about that intersection upgrading recently. This request from the city came after that meeting.
Councilor Kathy Rooyakkers said she understood the concern about the intersection in question, that it is very busy and people pull out because they’re sick of waiting.
Councilor Josh Bishop said he felt the provincial government should be paying a larger part of the upgrade cost as three of the roads, Hwy. #13 east and west and #814 north, are provincial. But he also noted none of the roads are the County of Wetaskiwin’s responsibility.
Pipestone Flyer readers are likely aware a number of deaths have occurred in the intersection in question, including earlier this summer when a young woman who was a passenger in a car was killed when an 18-wheeled truck collided with it.
Councilor Bill Krahn said he agreed with Bishop.
Hawken stated staff recommended denying the request, as none of the roads are county responsibility.
County council voted 5 to 2 to deny the city’s request.