The County of Stettler will move ahead with replacing six bridge-sized culverts with provincial grant money, council decided at their regular meeting July 8.
The meeting was conducted via youTube to meet social distancing guidelines.
County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Yvette Cassidy presented the memo to councillors, noting the county had been approved for provincial money to replace five bridge-sized culverts, plus one left over from last year.
The culverts are located at SW 13-39-19 Twp. Rd. 39-2, Botha SW 11-39-18 Rge. Rd. 18-2, SW 22-39-19 Rge. Rd. 19-3, (2019 carryover) SW 28-38-17 Rge Rd. 17-4, Gadsby NW 19-37-16 Rge. Rd. 170 and Botha SE 1-39-18 Twp. Rd. 39-0.
Director of Operations Rick Green noted such projects usually involve the hiring of a consultant, designing and tendering, which could mean a fairly long time before the project could begin.
Green stated to councillors he had a proposal to get all of the work done before freeze-up in October.
“The county can complete the basic design and tendering in-house and tender the project(s) as a group or individually,” stated Green’s memo.
“This method can utilize county staff time for contributions towards the 25 per cent financial responsibility and reduce the contributions from our bridge reserve to complete the project.
Time lines can also be an issue due to available staff time and will likely leave some of the installations for 2021 construction season.
“Although we don’t have the resources with current staff levels to complete all of this work in-house at this time, we could hire a temporary local crew and rent equipment and have them focus only on these installations.
“With this option, we stand a reasonable chance of completing all work this construction season without delays involved in hiring consultants or tendering to contractors. [County staff] will continue with the basic design and pipe orders and we can manage in-house without much concern.
“This will still have a cost associated with it funded by the bridge reserve but would ensure local workers being put to work right away.”
Green estimated the cost of hiring local contractors at $332,500. The total project cost was estimated at $1.2 million.
Green stated he felt this option offered the quickest completion and also offers some work to local businesses. Also, he stated if the work is finished quickly, it gives the county the option to apply for more grant money if it’s available.
Coun. Dave Grover asked if it was possible to get all this work done before winter.
Green answered that his plan is to get two to three of the culverts going at the same time.
“I think we should do it,” said Grover.
Councillors approved Green’s plan and also authorized funds from the bridge reserve for the county’s 25 per cent of the project.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter