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Projects held up by lockdown underway

Federal, provincial funding made it possible to take projects off hold status

OLDS — Work is underway on most of six projects that were put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and town officials are hopeful work on the others can begin in the next several weeks.

The projects put on hold were:

• a municipal improvement program to repair streets and intersections

• a north reservoir tank relining project

• a sanitary relining program

• construction of the $10 million operations centre to consolidate staff and equipment from three older buildings into one facility

• construction of an RCMP garage

• a wayfinding program (installation of signs to provide directions to various important sites in town).

Earlier this summer, council was told that those projects were taken off hold because the town had received Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) and federal gas tax funding.

Also, debentures had been received to finance construction of the operations centre.

The municipal improvement projects have a total budget of $2.3 million and progress is dependent on weather. Crews hope to begin the work this week (the week of Aug. 10).

Areas slated for the improvements are:

• asphalt overlay and road reconstruction on 70th Avenue south from Highway 27 to the south edge of the Highlands

• milling and overlay on the north side of the intersection of 65th Avenue and Highway 27 by the UFA bulk facility and the Cornerstone Art Commons

• formal road closure of 52nd Avenue at Highway 27 -- barricades will be removed, new curb stop will be installed and a sidewalk connector will be poured

• repairs to the intersection of 50th Avenue and 54th St. in front of the bowling alley and the strip mall to the north of it -- this work includes installation of a concrete drainage swale and pavement will also be milled and an overlay set down

• 57th Avenue south will get a new overlay of asphalt in various areas where the road has deteriorated

• Duncan Place will also undergo road reconstruction

Construction of the new operations centre, which will be located off 70th Avenue at the site of the old wastewater treatment area is well underway.

Workers have been pouring the foundation. The goal is to pour concrete flooring and begin framing for the administrative area of the building by the end of August.

The facility would also house equipment like graders, other vehicles, sand and salt for roads, materials for road repairs, pipes for the water system and garbage bins.

Approximately $8 million is allocated for construction of the new building. Another $2 million or so is slated to be spent on reclaiming and servicing the land.

Crews hope to complete a $200,000 sanitary relining project by the latter part of August. The purpose of the project is to extend the life of that infrastructure.

A similar project to reline the town’s north reservoir, slated to cost about $500,000, is also underway.

Its purpose is also to “extend the life of the asset,” officials say.

During this month, a dive crew will undertake a video inspection of the inside of the reservoir’s tank and take detailed measurements.

Then, a Request For Proposal (RFP) will be will be drawn up for companies interested in improving that facility.

A $125,000 project to construct an RCMP garage has not begun yet. Town officials hope to finalize plans and issue an RFP for it some time this month.

As for the $245,000 wayfinding project, plans call for footings and bases to be poured during this month and September so the directional signs can be installed.