It won’t be on the scale of roadwork seen in Elmira this spring, but drivers can count on detouring around more construction next year, as the federal and provincial governments have ponied up millions of dollars for infrastructure projects in the townships.
Woolwich will receive just shy of $6 million for four projects; Wellesley will get $1.3 million for three of its roads projects.
With Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht and his provincial counterpart, Leeanna Pendergast, at Woolwich council chambers June 12 to dole out money, there was nothing but smiles going around.
Two projects in Elmira – the reconstruction of Snyder Avenue and Samuel Street – are slated to cost $2.6 million apiece. The township will pay a third of the cost, with the federal and provincial governments each picking up a third, working out to $1,733,334.
Each of the senior governments will contribute $400,000 toward the resurfacing of Floradale Road and the rehabilitation of the Floradale Bridge, a project estimated to cost $1.2 million.
In short order, the combined Building Canada grant of $1.7 million will be put to work in construction of the Breslau Community Centre. That project is expected to get underway shortly.
Richard Petherick, Woolwich’s director of finance, said the first step in the road projects will be to release requests for proposals to hire engineering consultants to plan the work, sending the construction portion out to tender early in 2010.
In Wellesley, the funding announced last week will support the resurfacing of Hessen Strasse, between Moser Young and Hutchison roads, at a total cost of $1.3 million; the Building Canada money will amount to $843,000. Resurfacing is also planned for a stretch of Weimar Line between Greenwood Hill Road and Hutchison Road, with the federal and provincial contributions covering $246,000 of the $369,000 budget.
A smaller project, the upgrade of handrails on the Siegner Bridge, will see Wellesley receive $190,000 toward the $285,000 total budget.
Unlike his Woolwich counterpart, Mayor Bill Strauss, who said he would welcome Albrecht and Pendergast to return with money again soon, Wellesley Mayor Ross Kelterborn noted his township has many projects, but nowhere near enough money to pay for even one-third of the cost.
He also worried that doing all this infrastructure work at the same time would lead to it deteriorating at the same time decades down the road, putting the township in a tight financial bind again at that time.
Still, he said he was “happy to get the funds” to help with the current needs.
Each of the projects was chosen because the work could be done quickly enough under the governments’ stimulus program to offset the downturn in the economy.
“This funding is intended to help Ontario communities get shovels in the ground quickly – within the next two construction seasons – to create jobs and stimulate the economy,” said Albrecht.
First off the mark, perhaps as early as this week, will be the Breslau Community Centre, a $2.5-million facility. Work is slated to be completed by mid-December.
The 10,000-square-foot structure will be joined to the existing Empire Communities Ltd. sales office, which is to be turned over to the township when the 475-home subdivision is built out.
The Ventin Group Architects’ final design came after a long process of consultation with residents and the Breslau Recreation Association.
While the final price tag, the lowest of 12 bids, was some $460,000 higher than budgeted for, the financing was deemed workable. Changes to the development charges formula, plus community fundraising in excess of the original $330,000 target will reduce the gap to $106,000. Community fundraising efforts continue.
The new building, a gymnasium/community centre, will be built to complement the existing sales pavilion erected by Empire Communities. That structure is 3,600 sq. ft.; with the basement included, it provides about 7,000 sq. ft.
Under a deal made with the township in 2006, the company located the facility at Breslau Memorial Park with the intention of selling it to the municipality for $2 when the subdivision is built out.