By J.W. Schnarr
It was an opportunity for the Municipal District of Taber council to prioritize their capital project list and operational plan for the next several years.
During their regular meeting on Nov. 12, council addressed a list which contained both unfinished projects from 2014 as well as upcoming planned projects for 2015. The number of projects on the 2015 list, however, seemed to far outstrip the amount of funding available for those projects for the 2015 construction year.
In all, there was an estimated $7.825 million in projects on the list, while only $2,761,813 is available in grant funding.
“Seems to me like we have more dreams than money,” said Reeve Brian Brewin.
“What we’ve got here is a three-year plan instead of a one-year plan.”
Deputy Reeve Dwight Tolton said it was important for council to prioritize projects with the overall good of the M.D. in mind, and not just the various divisions councillors were responsible for.
“On the political side, if we start horse trading, then the wrong roads get done,” he said.
During discussion, Brewin said council needed to go through the listed projects and sort them based on the overall needs of the M.D., but that he wasn’t sure how council wanted to proceed.
“How do you want to do this?” he asked. “Do you want to go through the projects and everyone list their top priorities?”
“I think we have to look at what administration has put up there,” replied Division 5 Coun. Bob Wallace. “And we have to look at what was done last year. Just starting a new priority list every year is banging our heads against the wall.”
Jack Dunsmore then offered to walk council through the list of projects administration felt were most important towards completion, including three lift station overhauls within the M.D. and several roads deemed important.
In all, there were close to 50 projects listed in the plan, including 14 new capital project roadways and one left over from 2014; eight new road rehabs and eight left over from 2015; and 17 contracted soil cement/foamed asphalt/paving sidewalks/other with one left over from 2014.
Also listed, but not included in the overall costs, is the NW Grassy Lake subdivision from 2014, including road, gutter, and infrastructure, at a cost of $500,000 but not included as all costs are to be recovered through the sale of lots in the area.