By Jamie Rieger
County of Forty Mile councilors covered a lot of ground at their June 22 regular council meeting. Below are a few highlights from the meeting:
Highway 3 Twinning and Highway 61 updates
Councilor Chantel Timmons provided council with an update from the last Highway 3 Twinning Development Association meeting where it was announced that the provincial government would be contributing $10,000 for the updating cost benefit analysis of the 2001 Van Horne study which studied the possibilities of twinning of the highway.
“After denying funding through the Collaboration Grant, they are now going to provide funding. This is allow them to build off the previous study,” said Timmons.
Reeve Bryne Lengyel indicated he had received a letter from Rick Pollard, stakeholder relations officer for the Office of the Premier and Jerry Lau, infrastructure manager for Alberta Transportation that Highway 3 is being considered a “future project” for the province.
“At this time, the twinning of Highway 3 is considered a future project, and will most likely require dedicated funding similar to Highway 63, as it is beyond our regular capital program limit to fund. However, Alberta Transportation will soon be reviewing traffic and safety data for Highway 3,” reads the letter dated May 30, 2016.
The letter also addressed the upgrading of Highway 61, citing three segments have been identified along the stretch of highway from Highway 4 to Manyberries. The grade widening of a 15-kilometer segment from west of Etzikom to east of Etzikom is on the three-year provincial construction design list and tenders have been complete for the other two projects. The letter also indicates that three projects are “mostly not impacted” by the federal emergency protection order on the Greater Sage Grouse.
“If funding becomes available to complete the second and third segments before the emergency order is lifted, a more thorough investigation will be done to ensure Alberta Transportation does not violate the order,” reads the letter.
Water for Life grant
Funding is being made available for the design study for the County of Forty Mile/Foremost Manyberries regional pipeline.
At council’s June 22 meeting, it was announced that they would receive up to $596,315, or 86.24 percent of the total cost of the estimated eligible project costs.
North 40 Mile Landfill
A source that will accept mini-bulk bags is needed in the region, Councilor Steve Wikkerink, who sits on the North 40 Landfill board, told council.
“When it comes to these seed bags, we legally cannot accept them because of the residue on them and there is no place that will accept them; nobody is taking them,” said Wikkerink. “We need something for these mini-bulk bags before they become a bigger problem than those silage bags. Waste commissions can’t take chemically laced product.”
County administrator suggested the issue be made a resolution item at the upcoming Agriculture conference.