By Cole Parkinson
With leftover funds from the Alberta Community Resilience Program (ACRP), the Municipal District of Taber is planning to move those funds over to the Horsefly Spillway project. An expected amount of $976,945.75 is leftover, and M.D. administration brought forward the request to council’s regular meeting on Oct. 12.
“The request for decision in front of you is a request to reallocate leftover grant funding through the ACRP program. That was previously allocated to the Township 8 Range 16 project. Now that the project has wrapped up and been completed, there are some remaining unspent grant funds that we are looking to reallocate to the Horsefly Spillway project,” explained CAO Arlos Crofts.
The total cost of the drainage project was $1,635,791.39 which was funded 90 per cent through the ACRP and 10 per cent of MSI Capital funding.
The M.D. had received $2,322,000 from the ACRP grant which leaves $976,945.75. Administration’s report explained that remaining ACRP funds “can be reallocated, upon request, to another ACRP approved project within the municipality. The other ACRP approved project within the M.D. of Taber, although it is a multi-stakeholder regional project, is the Horsefly Emergency Spillway Project.”
“These funds can only be reallocated to already approved ACRP projects,” confirmed Crofts after a question if the funds could go to other projects.
Another question was around if the funds would go towards just the M.D.’s portion of the project or if it would be placed in the total pool of funds, which in result would lower costs for other participating municipalities.
“Are you thinking this will be dumped into the fund to reduce every municipality’s contribution or is it just going to help our municipal contribution?” asked Reeve Merrill Harris.
“That can be pushed forward however council would like to see,” replied Crofts. “I can’t guarantee one outcome over the other, but as I’m CAO of the M.D. of Taber, I think that’s something you should pursue in terms of having it be considered as our contribution to the project. Whether or not we can in the context of the relationship with our partners, that’s kind of a committee item of business to discuss.”
Others expressed the desire to have those funds be a part of the M.D. of Taber’s contribution.
“I would see that as our contribution based on that good management of the project that we dealt with. It makes good sense for it to remain with us. It still gives the opportunity to further expand the project and the fact we have taken the lead on it, we’ve already endured costs that aren’t accounted for,” added Coun. Tamara Miyanaga.
“Is that more than our contribution or what would our contribution be?” asked Coun. Brian Brewin.
Administration explained it would cover the first phase contribution. Crofts also said it would be a good idea to ask other participating municipalities if they had unspent ACRP funding, which in turn would help them. Council inquired as to where the project was currently standing in mid-October.
“Other than the fact they’re progressing along with lots of consultation — they’ve got a fair amount of the environmental work and study done. There are just some First Nations consultations that are progressing along. I would say there are no roadblocks to report there, they’re just progressing along and it takes time to get there,” stated Crofts. “At the same time, they’re continuing on the Phase 1 design and are wrapping up Phase 2 design. In regard to consultations, they were able to pivot and do everything all at once. It may take a little bit longer than anticipated initially, but we only have to do it once this time.”
With rerouting a possibility for the second phase, a question was asked if that would be coming back for discussion.
“I don’t even know if I want to call it a discussion, but very preliminary concepts on paper that in the very near future will spur some discussion, but not quite at that point yet,” responded Crofts.
Another issue regarding the third phase was also brought forward.
“A problem that has been going on for quite a while — since the upgrade of the main canal, SMRID canal back in the 80s — and there’s been a problem at a corner there when they redid that. I’m wondering if that affects municipal infrastructure near the Horsefly Lake Spillway that would dump the water from SMRID main canal into Horsefly Lake?” asked Coun. John Turcato. “When they changed the elevations there on the road, it impacted a corner there that no longer has any drainage. I’m wondering if we need a motion here to discuss that or if staff could look at how we can implement that into the design of phase three.”
Crofts stated he would bring that problem back to staff and the design engineers. As far as a decision on the remaining ACRP grants, council was in favour of putting it forth under their contribution.
“I think the only thing I would add to the recommended (motion) is ‘as our part of the first phase.’ Just to make sure that is clarified that this would be our part. And If it’s more than that, then we’d probably have to give the entire amount,” confirmed Coun. Brian Brewin.
A motion was carried to direct administration to request a reallocation of ACRP funding, from Alberta Environment and Parks in the expected amount of $976,945.75 from the Township 8 Range 16 Regional Project to the Horsefly Emergency Spillway Project under the M.D.’s contribution and, at the next Southern Regional Stormwater Drainage Committee meeting invite participating members and partners to consider a review and reallocation of any other potential unspent ACRP funding of existing projects.