The Town of Hanna council information meeting Jan. 31. From left are Mayor Danny Povaschuk, Coun. Kyle Olsen and CAO Kim Neill. ECA Review/ScreenshotStu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Town of Hanna has its downtown redevelopment project ready to go but continues to wait for an approval of a key grant. A report on the redevelopment project was made at the Jan. 31 council information meeting.

Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kim Neill provided councillors with updates on several facets of the downtown redevelopment project, principally noting the town continues to wait for a grant approval.

“Prairies Can application for funding of this project has been submitted and no notification received as of this date,” stated Neill’s report. “Followed up with their representatives the week of January 22.”

During discussion the CAO said, “…still haven’t got approval on the downtown project. It’s very frustrating. I’ve expressed my frustration to them.” 

Neill added that the grant in question isn’t competitive as funds are allocated to the region meaning awards should be straightforward and simple.

“Project is basically ready to go to tender as soon as the town receives approval of our application under the Canada Coal Transition – Infrastructure Fund (application is for $4.1 million with the town contributing $1.7 million for a total estimated project cost of $5.8 million,” stated the CAO in his report.

“In addition to the core infrastructure (water/sanitary and storm lines) the project includes new wider sidewalks, intersection bump outs, benches, bike racks and pedestrian friendly lighting. 

“If funding is confirmed it is anticipated that the project will go out to tender ASAP with construction taking place between May and Oct., 2024.” Neill noted based on available funding the tender will go out in February with construction beginning in May.

The CAO noted the project is ready to go. 

“MPE has completed the drawings and cost estimates to the 90 per cent completion stage,” his report noted.

“Have handed out an information package to most business owners in the affected construction area and held one-one meetings with 12 business representatives to review the project, timelines, design/plan feedback, access restrictions, outside water connections, etc.”

Neill added that he’s asked the engineers to be standing by to post the tender as soon as the funding is confirmed.

Back up plan?

Neill next updated councillors on the Palliser & Pioneer Trail road rehab project. 

“MPE will provide administration with an update on the detailed design work on Jan. 16,” stated Neill’s report. “Project currently identified to be completed in the 2025 capital budget. Have asked MPE to finish the tender package so that in the event that the downtown project isn’t able to move forward in early 2024 then this project could be put out to tender.

“Grant application to Alberta Transportation – Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program – Local Municipal initiatives has been submitted. 

This program is typically oversubscribed so chances are slim that the town will be successful, and we probably won’t have a decision until the spring of 2024.’

In need of attention

Neill reported the Pioneer Trail Bridge’s condition continues to deteriorate. 

“The bridge inspection is complete and shows the bridge has deteriorated since the last inspection in 2021, primarily with continued deterioration of the 11 girders,” he noted.

“Grant Application to Alberta Transportation – Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program – Local Bridge Component has been resubmitted for the third time. A decision is not expected until the spring of 2024.”

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Feb 07, 2024 at 13:11

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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