The Municipal District of Bonnyville received long-term funding today for the La Corey North Resource Road under the new Improvement District (ID) 349 formula.
The provincial government announced the new ID 349 (also known as the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range) funding formula today. Reeve Greg Sawchuk says he is pleased with the results of the negotiations. “The M.D. will receive $1 million a year to cover the annual maintenance costs on the La Corey North Resource Road. In addition, the M.D. will receive $1.2 million over 15 years to cover the debentured costs of applying a much needed asphalt overlay on the road.”
Sawchuk says “while the M.D. would have preferred the province take over the La Corey North Resource Road and service it as a provincial highway, we are happy the provincial government included $2.2 million for the La Corey North Resource Road in the funding formula.”
The provincial government has implemented a new ID 349 Intermunicipal Fund created by a 20 percent holdback, approximately $6 million, for the benefit of the region as a whole.
The M.D. has maintained the La Corey North Resource Road since the mid-90s. The municipality, in partnership with the provincial government and industry partners, upgraded the road. The M.D. is responsible for maintaining the 50.3 kilometre public access into the Air Weapons Range. During the winter months the M.D. staffs a night shift crew to ensure this singular access is always open.
Sawchuk says the La Corey North Resource Road is in desperate need of an upgrade. “The road was built to accommodate an average daily traffic count of 700 vehicles. A recent provincial two-way traffic count showed on average 3,081 vehicles were travelling the road a day.”
Under the previous ID 349 Agreement, the M.D. received $600,000 in the first year to maintain the Resource Road, with funding increasing $100,000 annually, to a maximum of $1 million in the fifth and final year of the Agreement.
In the 2018 Interim Budget, M.D. Council has budgeted $13 million for the Asphalt Overlay of the La Corey North Resource Road Project.