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MVC to team with Bighorn for Burnt Timber Rd. grant

Mountain View County will apply with the MD of Bighorn for a provincial resource road grant to repave Burnt Timber Road, council's policies and priorities committee voted last week.

Mountain View County will apply with the MD of Bighorn for a provincial resource road grant to repave Burnt Timber Road, council's policies and priorities committee voted last week.If approved, the $12-million project would be cost-shared by the province, with the county and the MD each contributing about 25 per cent, infrastructure manager Ryan Morrison told councillors at Wednesday's P&P meeting.The municipal share ñ $3.2 million for the county ñ could also drop if Shell Canada agreed to contribute funds toward the upgrade. Shell is the major owner and operator of the Burnt Timber Gas Complex and uses the route to transport sulphur trucks to its Shantz processing plant.ìShell told us in 2009 that they would be willing to assist because they don't want to see the road banned,î Morrison said.Logging and gravel companies who use the stretch of Burnt Timber Road (Twp. Rd. 304) west of Highway 22 could also be approached for contributions to the project.The only hitch, the committee heard, is that the Acme Road reconstruction project, slated to begin in 2013, could be delayed by up to three years if the county were to draw the bulk of the $3.2 million for the Burnt Timber Road project from reserves.Complicating matters further, the province has indicated that this year is the last in which resource road grants will be available and approved projects must be undertaken by 2013.The county currently lists the Burnt Timber Road reconstruction for 2022 in its 15-year plan, but operational services has been doing extensive maintenance to avoid the major capital investment. With the road traversing muskeg, and built in the late 1980s to a higher standard than Highway 22, the county wants to ensure the base is preserved, CAO Tony Martens said.Burnt Timber was also the only useable road to the West Country during the 2005 flood, Morrison noted.However, he added, the Acme Road is a destination road serving a wider cross-section of the population, with average daily traffic counts of about 300 vehicles.ìAs far as general county impact, the Acme Road is a fairly significant road in relation to (Burnt Timber),î Div. 1 Coun. Kevin Good affirmed. ìBut this grant money is available in one shot if we get it. If not, we go back to Plan A.îThe committee agreed to recommend council proceed with the grant application while approaching Shell and other potential private-sector contributors for funding commitments to the project.