Alberta’s County of Grande Prairie has made investing in roads is a priority for its 2017 budget. The $132.1 million budget includes estimated expenditures of $56.4 million for capital projects, 59 per cent of which is being allocated to road projects, and $75.7 million for general operations.
Approximately $33.2 million is being invested in capital road projects. The proposed new construction includes 29.3 km of road surfacing including the paving of gravel roads, surfaced road overlays, and re-construction, with divisional road projects to be determined. Grant funding for road projects is estimated at $6 million, including a $1.1 million Federal Gas Tax Grant and $4.9 million in funding from Provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) Grant.
“It has been a challenging year maintaining the County’s extensive gravel road network due to the inclement weather conditions we’ve experienced in the region. Council remains responsive to these challenges which is why 59 per cent of our capital budget is being invested on improving our roads,” said Reeve Leanne Beaupre.
In addition to road construction, the capital budget includes $3.40 million for public works, water and sewer management projects (including water truck fill and new water well in Bezanson, sewage lift station in Valhalla, and water meters in Bezanson, Teepee Creek and La Glace.) The county will also invest in its transit system and a solar energy project.
The overall 2016 taxable assessment decreased $207 million (2.5 per cent decrease from 2016) representing an estimated $223 million in new growth and a decrease of $430 million in market value assessment.
“Investing in our communities and maintaining the services and programs we provide to residents was also a theme when developing the 2017 budget. We commend staff for developing a fiscally responsible budget that meets the current and future needs of our community, and keeps tax rates reasonable while taking into consideration the current economic climate,” added Beaupre.
More details can be found on the County’s website.