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Didsbury's draft budget nearly $2.4 million

If approved, support for business and commercial opportunities expected

DIDSBURY — The town's draft 2021 budget includes several projects that if approved are expected to support business and commercial opportunities in the municipality, council heard.

The budget calls for spending totalling nearly $2.4 million, with a total of 12 infrastructure, land improvements, buildings and equipment projects.

Council has accepted the draft as information and is asking for public input though the town’s website.

One construction project would see the installation of a stormwater drain along 20th Street between 15th and 17th Ave. at a cost of $626,202. The project would be funded through the Municipal Stimulus Program grant announced in 2020.

“The construction project is expected to provide jobs for approximately 75 people for the duration of construction,” administration said in a briefing note to council.

“By mitigating drainage problems and making surface improvements, the project also improves the investment potential to an additional 30 per cent of the town’s main commercial corridor, and will improve access to the downtown core, which is the hub of commercial business in town.”

Another project would see the visitor welcoming sign message board on the town boundary replaced, at a cost of $70,000.

“The sign is a visible and recognized site in town and the message board is consistently used by user groups. A digital board also for significant more content and will highlight the contributions of various groups throughout the community. Updating the messages will occur from a computer program, which will free up capacity from public works staff for other tasks.”

Another multi-year project would see construction along 21st Street between 15th and 19th Avenue at a total cost of almost $2 million, including $30,000 in 2021.

The project would include the installation of a storm line, replacement of an existing water line, replacement of a sanitary line, and replacement of the curb, gutter and asphalt roadway.

“Improvements to this will enhance the connectivity for residents and business owners. Resolving stormwater conveyance issues will also reduce surface works operational and maintenance costs.”

Another project would see the addition of street lighting in various places around town, at a cost of $140,000.

“This program will provide appropriate lighting to improve the safety of business owners and employees, shoppers and drivers in the area. Having the appropriate lighting is also known to reduce crime, and it would also provide a continuity of decorative lighting that exists among other parts of main street, adding visual beautification.”

Other projects in the draft budget include library expansion and renovation at cost of $700,000, asphalt repair equipment and packer at cost of $100,000.

The complete draft budget and a place to submit comments can be found on the town’s website.

Dan Singleton

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