County of Wetaskiwin council heard a detailed complaint about the condition of a significant road at Pigeon Lake during the regular meeting of council Jan. 28.
Representatives of the Summer Village of Crystal Springs and Summer Village of Norris Beach appeared, along with summer villages CAO Sylvia Roy, to discuss the condition of the north leg of Range Road #11. This road heads north from Hwy. #13 past the Village at Pigeon Lake.
Ian Rawlinson, mayor of Crystal Springs, did most of the presentation to council. “The citizen concern is mounting on that road,” said Rawlinson to County of Wetaskiwin council. It was noted in the agenda package that the road in question is within the intermunicipal development plan between the county and summer villages.
Rawlinson said the summer villages would like to work with the county regarding Range Road #11, achieve a consensus on a plan, discuss cost sharing and move ahead with improving the road.
Rawlinson noted a considerable sum is spent on that portion of road every year in maintenance costs, yet the road continues to be rough and dusty. He also noted the road belongs to the county but the summer villages share some responsibility for it, hence, the summer villages would like to share in the cost of paving the road.
It was noted at the meeting a 20 year old agreement on that road between the county and summer villages note cost sharing is split into thirds, which in the summer villages’ opinion is now irrelevant in terms of population and unmanageable with for summer villages with comparatively small populations.
The mayor said Crystal Springs was willing to budget up to $200,000 to pave the road, while Norris Beach would budget up to $150,000. Rawlinson said an estimate for the paving would be about $850,000. He added that the paving would improve safety and access and was well worth the money.
Ideally, the villages would like to see the project start in spring, 2020.
Director of Public Works Neil Powell stated the county has $400,000 set aside for this project already and noted the road needs work. “I agree, the road does merit upgrades,” said Powell.
Councilor Kathy Rooyakkers noted that section of road has a culvert which could require replacement before paving. Powell agreed, noting the bridge replacement would cost $800,000 and should be done first so that brand new pavement doesn’t have to be ripped up to replace the bridge.
He also said this project probably wouldn’t get rolling until 2021.
Councilor Josh Bishop cautioned that there could be other costs that increased this project, and noted many other roads also need work.
Reeve Terry Van de Kraats said that, generally, when such projects are done, they’re done to a standard that the work will last 30 years.
“We are the bigger neighbour but we do have so many priorities,” said Van de Kraats.
Councilor Ken Adair noted that he does receive a lot of complaints about that road.
Councilors voted to receive the summer village’s presentation as information.