Town of Stettler approves new pavement

STETTLER – Stettler motorists will be enjoying a luxurious new layer of asphalt on busy 44th Ave. after town council approved the paving project at their Sept. 1 regular meeting.

Director of Operations Melissa Robbins provided a memo describing over $700,000 in Municipal Stimulus Program that Stettler was eligible for.

“Late July, the town was notified of an additional $707,509 in Municipal Stimulus Program funding available for construction projects from the provincial government,” stated Robbins in her report to council.

“Administration evaluated all long term capital improvements and elected to tender the rehabilitation of 44 Avenue from Highway 56, east through to Highway 12 this fall to secure good construction pricing with the option to complete concrete work fall of 2020 with paving in 2021.”

Robbins said Tagish Engineering handled the tender for the town and received two bids. 

Her memo said Border Paving bid $456,241.25 for the project in question while Central City Asphalt bid $469,804.50, with tax and contingency extra. 

Robbins noted contingency would be $100,000 plus $55,000 for engineering, for a total of $611,241.25.

Town Chief Administrative Officer Greg Switenky said Border Paving already has current work in the area. Town staff were happy to see such competitive bids that were well below the grant amount.

Switenky stated whatever stimulus funds the town saved on the 44th Ave. project will be spent on another project instead.

Coun. Al Campbell asked why, when contingency amounts usually add up to 10 per cent of the project, this one has a contingency amount almost double that. 

Switenky said the contractors may be erring on the side of caution.

He pointed out, however, that even if contractors know about contingency funds, the town has control over whether or not they’re spent.

In her report Robbins reminded councillors what the provincial government’s stimulus program offers. 

“The Government of Alberta is providing additional capital infrastructure funding to municipalities and Metis Settlements to sustain and create local jobs, enhance provincial competitiveness and productivity, position communities to participate in future economic growth and reduce municipal red tape to promote job-creating private sector investment,” stated the report.

“Municipalities will be required to commit to taking concrete actions to reduce red tape and encourage private sector investment.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to award the 44th Ave. rehabilitation from Highway #56 to Highway #12 to Border Paving Ltd. in the amount of $456,241.25, with a contingency of $100,000 for a contract cost of $556,241.25, excluding tax, plus the engineering costs.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/East Central Alberta Review