Alberton looks for funding for Frog Creek Road

Alberton council is concerned about the condition of Frog Creek Road and spent the beginning of its regular meeting last Wednesday night discussing funding with Fred Davies and Myles Kinnear of the Ministry of Transportation.
“It’s quite a unique road with a lot of heavy travel,” noted Alberton Reeve Mike Hammond, saying money is needed to finish work on the east end of the road as well as for continued maintenance.
“More than $10,000 was put into that road in the last two years,” he added.
Alberton council was asking for some funding from MTO, which it would match.
“I’m at the mercy of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, who hand out the money,” explained Davies. “I’m not saying I can’t find the money. I’m just saying I don’t know.”
He indicated when MTO does get money, it has to be spread around over 53 local road committees.
“We’ve tried to go down different avenues to make the road last longer,” stressed Coun. Barb Cournoyer, noting they’ve tried lowering the speed limit on the road and implementing load restrictions.
“And if we’re going to finish [work on the road], we have to start a program to put so much capital into it each year to keep it up,” added Coun. Doug Mitchell.
Coun. Cournoyer agreed a solid foundation and proper maintenance is needed.
“We need to explore that there’s a need for more than just dust suppressant,” she said. “We’re continuously having this problem come up and over time it’s deteriorating.”
“Work in the past two years has improved the road,” noted Davies. “And we plan to continue that way.”
He added they have to decide what the priorities are and acknowledge the difference between capital work and maintenance.
“I’ll see if I can bend someone’s ear and make it a priority,” he pledged. “But usually it’s used for dire emergencies.”
Davies said the MTO understands it is difficult to conduct road restrictions, and that it will be easier to find the money if Alberton would split to cost.
“We’re willing to work with you on it,” he added. “But there is a problem with the timing of our budget. We’ll see how much we can put out and you will be obliged to meet it next year.”
Davies added the MTO will continue with regular maintenance and see about capital projects each year.
“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I think we can find about what we had last year,” he concluded.
Also at last Wednesday’s meeting, Alberton council:
•approved payment of $48,477.84 to general accounts and $3,853.26 to payroll;
•heard a verbal report from road superintendent Larry George and reviewed the road department’s draft budget for the year;
•chose Tom Veert Contracting from the invitation for tenders for the Watson Road crossing work, with a quote of $6,125;
•heard a verbal report from volunteer fire chief Cory Jewell and discussed estimates for work on the entry door to the fire hall;
•reviewed various items from the CAO/Clerk-Treasurer’s report;
•heard a report from Coun. Louis Collier regarding the Rainy River District Municipal Association (RRDMA);
•passed a resolution to request the RRDMA constitution be amended as some wording need to be corrected;
•reviewed a memo from CAO/Clerk-Treasurer regarding the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board’s apportionment calculation;
•engaged in discussion with Ken McKinnon, representative of the Rainycrest Home for the Age’s board of management, about the current situation there;
•reviewed a written report from Coun. Collier of the March 3 telephone conference;
•reviewed a copy of the March 3 letter to the RRDMA from Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc.;
•reviewed a March 6 fax from Riverside regarding 2005 board honorariums and travel expenses paid;
•examined the 2006 draft budget, looking for possible ways it could be trimmed;
•authorized a $50 donation to the Rainy River District Music Festival Association;
•agreed to implement the Alberton Library Fee Reimbursement Program;
•agreed to support resolution number 2006-0043 from the Town of Halton Hills;
•agreed to a request for support from Northumberland County regarding Bill 206 (OMERS devolution); and
•agreed to support the City of Kawartha Lakes regarding several matters—the uploading of MPAC, source water protection, provincial tax relief, and opposing downloading.
Alberton council’s next regular meeting is slated for Wednesday, April 12 at 7 p.m. at the municipal office