70 per cent of the recently approved County of Grande Prairie interim capital budget is earmarked for various road network upgrades, fixes, or new builds on roads across the region. However, Reeve Leanne Beaupre says while roughly $23 million earmarked for capital projects will be used toward roads, every project they complete also has a toll on the rest of the overall budget.
“There is an operational cost associated with that, so the programming and the services we provide are one of our largest expenditures, but our capital investment into road infrastructure such as bridges and culverts is huge as well,” she says.
However, Beaupre adds it shouldn’t come as too big a shock, especially as it’s usually something members of council hear about from residents on an ongoing basis.
“It’s their lifeline getting to anywhere, they’re concerned about the safety of their loved ones, including their children going to and from school, so that’s reflective of what the council budget was all about,” she says.
“Not only for our residents but for the travelling public and those that work in and around of the County of Grande Prairie, it’s important our road infrastructure be as top-notch as possible.”
The biggest ticket item on the capital road construction budget will see just over 6 kilometres of paving on Rural Road 85 from Township Road 710 north to Highway 43, for an estimated $3.78 million.
The budget also saw councillors tentatively approve a zero per cent municipal tax increase for the third consecutive year. A vote to ratify the budget will be held in the spring.