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Lacombe council approves funding boost for 2023 infrastructure projects

Lacombe city council approved some additional capital funding for 2023 during their July 11 meeting.

Council has agreed additional funding for underground utility mains and roads in the city. Initially budgeted for $2.65 million in 2023, between the recent explosion in construction costs and the finding of more mains needing the work than anticipated, the needed work in 2023 greatly exceeds the initial budget budget.

According to the council request for decision, the initial 2022-2023 capital plan estimated 20 per cent of the utilities needed the full scope of rehabilitation; however, investigations by public works staff have shown that up to 44 per cent of the utilities need the rehabilitation work.

The work would consist of either replacing or relining the storm and sewer utilities beneath the roads with the hope of extending their life by another 50 years. Additionally, paving would be done at each site.

Council was provided with four options to proceed: one, the city could proceed with the full scope of the work at a cost of around $7.2 million; two, council could chose no change in funding resulting in cut projects; three, council could allow a hybrid model, with an increase allowing the completion of some key projects but not full scope; or four, council could set a new target budget.

One of the main focuses in all options were the sewer mains under C & E Trail, as the request for council decision notes that they are in “critical condition.”

Ultimately council opted to go for option three, allowing the hybrid model. The hybrid model will provide public works with a budget top up of $2.09 million, plus a carry over of $260,000 from 2022, for a total budget of $5 million.

Work to be done in 2023 will include paving on Highway 2A, paving and pipe relining on 58 Street from Fairway Drive to Northstar Drive, full road and utility reconstruction on C & E Trail between 46 and 50 Avenues and pipe relining from 50 Avenue to 5-way, and paving only on 50 Street between 52 Avenue and 56 Avenue.

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