A little extra pocket change is often useful when confronted with an unexpected expense.
While a little bit more than a handful of toonies and loonies could cover, Pincher Creek MD council was faced with an unexpected increase in repair costs for the Gladstone Creek bridge, originally built in 1908.
Council approved a $79,000 increase to the repair budget during its April 26 council meeting. The funds will be taken from the Federal Gas Tax Fund.
The repairs had been budgeted for $275,000 as part of the 2022 budget, but engineering work completed after the budget was approved revealed the strip deck, subdeck, guardrail, and half of the stringers need to be replaced.
Although 50 per cent of the stringers are in acceptable condition, the engineering report estimated they will need replacing within the next five years.
The project went to tender April 27. Repairs are set to occur this year and it is anticipated the bridge will be closed for around three days.
St. Mike’s HALO
Council approved donating a load of gravel for a silent auction at St. Michael’s Catholic School in Pincher Creek.
The auction is part of the school’s Hollywood Gala, an adult-only formal dance taking place May 6. The event is a fundraiser to help replace school athletic equipment and help students with athletic fees.
The value of the truckload of gravel sits at $200 to $300.
A $2,000 donation to the HALO air ambulance service was also approved by council.
The non-profit helicopter rescue program, based out of Medicine Hat, is the only air ambulance service that operates solely in southern Alberta. While HALO services jurisdictions mostly to the east, such as the MD of Taber and counties of Cypress, Newell and Forty Mile, about three-quarters of the MD of Pincher Creek is within its 60-minute flight range.
STARS Air Ambulance answers the majority of emergency calls in the MD. However, HALO provides patient transfers between hospitals. Council also felt the service provided a good backup in cases where STARS might be unavailable.
The $2,000 will come from the MD’s tax rate stabilization reserve.
The next regular council meeting will be held Tuesday, May 10, 6 p.m. at MD council chambers.
Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze