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Sundre's shovel-ready projects don't include broadband

Provincial government considering submissions for possible stimulus funding
MVT Sundre Town Office
A Sundre councillor thinks the broadband project should have been added to the municipality's shovel-ready projects list for consideration if the province awards stimulous funding.

SUNDRE — The municipality’s broadband high-speed internet plan should have been included on a list of shovel-ready capital projects submitted to the provincial government for potential stimulus funding, said a councillor.

Coun. Todd Dalke was disappointed the letter had already been sent prior to council’s approval on May 4, and expressed the opinion that the broadband high-speed internet project should have been included on the list.

“That would certainly be something that could have been possibly shovel ready,” said Dalke.

“We’ve done a lot of research on that for ‘in the ground,’ and if the government would assist to help pay for that, that would have been a great thing.”

The councillor inquired whether a revised letter that included the project — which he contested would provide a much more substantial economic boost than a couple of repaired sidewalks — could be resubmitted.

“We can send an addendum to that, that’s not a problem,” said chief administrative officer Linda Nelson.

Council heard that the letter prepared by administration had already been sent to the provincial government to outline numerous shovel-ready projects the municipality has lined up.

“During a town hall meeting, the minister of municipal affairs (Kaycee Madu) did request that municipalities prepare a list of municipal shovel-ready projects,” Nelson said during council’s teleconferenced meeting on Monday, May 4.

“The province is considering further economic stimulus measures, which would include potential municipal capital projects. We do not currently have any information on the stimulus requirements or conditions from the province, nor has there yet been any decision on the stimulus measures at this time,” said Nelson.

In anticipation of the possibility funds could be allocated, she said administration provided the minister with a list of six projects that Sundre could pursue. The list of projects identified as shovel ready was compiled in coordination with the managers of the operations and community services departments, she said.  

The potential plans are:

• upgrades to the Greenwood Campground, including power installation and replacement of water lines going through the berm to address potable water leakage

• arena ice plant room

• Centre Street South, including milling out and replacing existing asphalt and sidewalk

• an extension of the two-metre regional path to the new Prairie Creek pathway

• flood berm remediation for lift station 5;

• a strategic action plan for capital projects to achieve year-round tourism and economic development on newly acquired land for camping/recreation, including the possible construction of a wetland boardwalk

In the spirit of expediting the process, Nelson informed council the letter had already been sent, and that administration sought the retroactive motion approving the correspondence.

Recognizing that the letter had to be expedited, Coun. Charlene Preston said council should nevertheless still have had the opportunity to see the letter and submit suggestions by email before the document was sent. 

A motion retroactively approving the letter was carried.