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Didsbury council approves $150,000 for 23rd Street segment work

Existing road structure has deteriorated under the heavy volume of traffic which accesses the landfill and propane transfer sites north of town, says Didsbury's chief administrative officer

DIDSBURY - Council has approved $150,000 for improvements to the 23rd Street corridor between the CPR spur line and the CPR mainline in the town’s northwest.

The move came by way of motion at the recent council meeting, held in person and on YouTube.

The project will involve the addition of a durability additive and gravel, and does not involve a complete re-build of the roadway, council heard.

Last year council accepted a recommendation from the performance and evaluation committee to proceed with durability and dust reduction investments for the segment of 23rd Street, with the work modelled after an outlying road improvement project in Stirling.

“The existing road structure has deteriorated under the heavy volume of traffic which accesses the landfill and propane transfer sites (north of town),” said Ethan Gorner, the Town of Didsbury's chief administrative officer.

“Stabilization will create a strong substructure and reduce dust. The stabilization will require approximately 30 days to cure before any additional durability additives can be applied.

“The addition of gravel and durability additive on the stabilized base will eliminate the dust and it is anticipated to vastly improve the life span of the investment.”

As far as funding for the project, it is expected that it would qualify for Municipal Sustainability Initiative capital and Canada Community-Building Fund grants, he said.

“However, this would require changing priority of other projects on the multi-year plan,” he said. “There is currently no town reserve fund set aside for construction of roadway infrastructure.”

Town funding of $150,000 for the project could come from the equipment reserve, he said.

During council discussions of the matter, Coun. Bill Windsor said, “This is nowhere on our priority list. It’s not on our capital budget this year. It is not on our five-year plan anywhere. I’m confused about why we are dealing with this at this particular point in time when council hasn’t made this a priority. 

“I’m confused as to why we are looking at funding it from the equipment reserve. I don’t agree with that.”

In response, Gorner said it is a council’s discretion on whether to proceed with the project and how it is funded.

“It is entirely up to council,” said Gorner.

Coun. John Baswick said he is in support of the project.

“This will carry us for two or three years so we can build up enough funds to do it properly,” said Baswick. “In the interim people are going to be satisfied with a much smoother travel on that particular part of the road.”

Deputy mayor Curt Engel said he believes the project will be helpful in the immediate term.

“I’m in favour of getting something done and this is, in my opinion, very cost effective,” said Engel. “I hope we get the same results that (Stirling) is getting out of theirs.”

“That road needs, in my opinion and I’m not an engineer, a complete rebuild,” he added.

Coun. Ethan Williams also said he is in support of the project.

Council approved $150,000 from general reserve for the project, instead of from the equipment reserve as originally proposed.

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