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Tuesday , 22 September 2020

M.D. looking to wield financial firepower on $57 million capital budget amidst economic stop

The M.D. of Bonnyville is pressing to get projects going in the area amidst the economic stop and COVID-19 pandemic.

The M.D. of Bonnyville got a brief update for their upcoming projects during Wednesday’s Facebook Live committee meeting from administration.

With a little over $57 million committed in the M.D.’s 2020 capital budget toward road and infrastructure projects, they want to see this money spent in the area and wield some of their financial firepower, said Reeve Greg Sawchuk.

“Council were pressing the CAO pretty hard to make sure that these projects go ahead this summer. Construction hasn’t really been hit yet,” said Sawchuk.

“But right now, it looks like we could go ahead with lots of these things. And we’re looking at nearly $50 million that we’re hoping to get into the local economy through these construction jobs.

“And I tell you, the area needs it right now. We’re lucky that we had the ability, I called it the firepower there yesterday, to step up and push these things through this year when we knew it was going to be needed,” he said.

They have their eye on what’s happening in Quebec and Ontario with their construction practices in the meantime to see if they need to adjust due to the coronavirus.

Eight capital road construction projects were scheduled at a projected cost of $14.6 million as the M.D. begins a years-long initiative to bring roads up to standard.

Three bridges are scheduled to be replaced, and one will undergo major repairs, for a total cost of $2 million.

Nearly $7 million is set aside to remedy drainage issues in Birch Grove, Elk Haven, Hillside, Willow Ridge, County Side, Country Lane, Sunset Beach, Drouin, Crawford Estates and Crane Lake subdivisions also in 2020.

New fire halls are also planned in Fort Kent and Ardmore in 2020 to accommodate the new firetrucks that were purchased in 2019.

The regional waterline is still expected to be done in the fall with work to complete at the main plant in Cold Lake and transfer station.

The M.D. also supported the Seniors Drop-In Centres in Cold Lake, Bonnyville, and Glendon for $15,000 each on Wednesday.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connect Media. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.