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July 17, 2018 July 17, 2018

Budget focus shifts to repaving 50th Avenue

Posted on January 10, 2018 by Taber Times

By Trevor Busch
Taber Times
tbusch@tabertimes.com

Town council is advancing plans to repave 50th Avenue to 2018 while choosing to postpone to 2020 a planned asphalt overlay on 64th Avenue.

During 2018-2020 draft capital budget deliberations at council’s Dec. 18 regular meeting, discussion focused on the need to repave 64th Avenue from Highway 36 to 50th Street which was currently budgeted $1,016,000 for 2018.

Public works director Gary Scherer indicated the lion’s share of that estimated figure is sourced from Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding, but could be reallocated for other projects such as a 50th Avenue paving project.

“If you chose to move that to a different year, you could put that money towards a 50th Avenue asphalt overlay.”

Coun. Garth Bekkering was in support of using the money allocated for 64th Avenue to repave 50th Avenue in 2018.

“I firmly believe that on 64th Avenue, we need two overlays. There’s no question about that. If we maybe hold off until 2020, shove that money around somewhere else — I’m particularly interested in doing 50th Avenue.”

Highlighting information provided by Scherer with regard to potential grant funding being available for the 64th Avenue asphalt overlay in 2020, Mayor Andrew Prokop suggested a project delay might make sense.

“I agree with Councillor Bekkering, this should most likely be delayed, particularly if there’s an option available to gain some money, would be in our favour for 64th Avenue, and focus for 2018 on 50th Avenue overlay options.”

In considering the scope of a 50th Avenue asphalt overlay, Scherer pointed out there might be an opportunity for a cost savings of $60,000 should council opt for reducing the size of the road surface.

“You have a lot of wide roads in town, and there’s going to be a cost associated with asphalting and maintenance on those roads.”

Both Prokop and Coun. Louie Tams were unable to see any benefit to increasing the size of the boulevards on 50th Avenue.

“I don’t see the need for any more boulevards,” said Tams. “I like 50th Avenue being as wide as it is. I drive on that, so does everybody else, I think it’s a great avenue. And it’s a busy road. There’s a cost, but it’s nice to have that big, wide avenue for things that we do in town. I would prefer spending the extra $60,000 in paving it instead of more boulevards, because then we have to mow it. One way or another we’re spending the money.”

While Coun. Jack Brewin was not opposed to the idea of increased boulevards, Coun. Joe Strojwas was not.

“I’m not in favour of reducing the width of 50th Avenue,” said Strojwas. “I think it should stay like it is. I’m not in favour of putting a green strip down the middle or reducing the size, I think it should stay, it’s a major roadway in and out of town. I’m perfectly content with paying the extra cost if we have to pave it.”

Coun. Mark Garner was more concerned with seeing the development match other areas of improvement in the community.

“I think we’re at a crossroads here where if we were to do the boulevards and landscape them like we have further west, we could kind of tie in and make it look like it was planned that way instead of disjointed and modernized in some areas, not modernized in other areas. I think it would be a nice thoroughfare if it all looked the same.”

Bekkering was indifferent to the boulevard issue.

“Whether there’s a boulevard there or not, or a boulevard down the middle of the road, to me that’s not crucial. I could go either way, it doesn’t matter to me that much. The $60,000 is relatively minor.”

Prokop suggested that if the town was going to pave a portion of 50th Avenue, it would make more sense to extend the project to the intersection of Highway 864.

“I’m inclined to believe that’s it’s important if we’re going to do the overlay, to do the whole street, just do it all the way to Highway 864. That would be the smartest route to follow in that regard.”

Following discussion, council voted unanimously to remove the 64th Avenue Asphalt Overlay Highway 36 to 50th Street Project from 2018 and postpone it until 2020, and directed administration to investigate potential grant funding.

In a follow up motion, council voted unanimously to direct administration to look into costs to overlay 50th Avenue from 50th Street to Highway 864, with the curb as wide as the street, and to come back to council with a cost estimate at a future meeting.

Coun. Joe Strojwas was absent from the meeting, but participated in the proceedings via teleconference call.

Additional Capital Projects: Engineering and Public Works

1) Eureka Industrial Subdivision Phase 3B Option 2 Engineering (2018)
Budgeted: $102,000
Status: Council voted 6-1 to remove the project from the 2018 capital budget and postpone it until 2019. Coun. Joe Strojwas opposed the motion.

2) Highway 3 and Highway 864 Intersection Traffic Lights (2018)
Budgeted: $300,000
Status: Council voted unanimously to approve the project for the 2018 capital budget with funding to be allocated from capital reserves.

3) 56th Avenue Engineering (2018)
Budgeted: $75,000
Status: Council voted unanimously to approve the project for the 2018 capital budget with funding to be allocated from capital reserves.

4) Pressure Washer (2018)
Budgeted: $12,000
Status: Council voted unanimously to approve the project for the 2018 capital budget with funding to be allocated from capital reserves.

5) SCADA – Water and Wastewater Control System (2018)
Budgeted: $503,000
Status: Council voted unanimously to approve the project for the 2018 capital budget with funding to be allocated from capital reserves.

Additional Capital Projects

1) IT Master Plan (2018)
Budgeted: $50,000
Status: Council voted unanimously to approve the project for the 2018 capital budget with funding to be allocated from capital reserves.

2) Police – In Car Cameras – Two Vehicles (2018)
Budgeted: $20,000
Status: Council voted unanimously to approve the project for the 2018 capital budget with funding to be allocated from capital reserves.

3) Generator – Administration Building Emergency Backup (2018)
Budgeted: $55,000
Status: Council voted unanimously to approve the project for the 2018 capital budget with funding to be allocated from capital reserves.

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