Even though Burns Lake’s grant application to start the Eighth Avenue repaving project was unsuccessful last year, village council has authorized staff to give the same grant funding another shot.
Eighth Avenue’s paving has been a concern for local residents for several years. Council considers this repaving project a priority and has instructed staff to continue applying for grants whenever possible.
Village staff believe that committing the village’s own funds will increase the likelihood of the grant application being approved. In April of 2015, the Village of Burns Lake applied for a grant through the ‘gas tax strategic priorities fund’ but was unsuccessful as the grant funding was oversubscribed. At the time, the village did not commit any of its own funds on the application.
“The application does not require a certain amount of applicant funding, but you have a better chance of being successful in the grant if you are supporting the project with some of your money,” said Burns Lake director of public works Dale Ross. “Based on suggestions from our engineer, staff advise putting 10 per cent towards the project.”
That would mean that $279,000 would be paid with village funds while $2,5 million would be paid with grant funding, for a total project cost of $2,79 million.
“If the grant is successful, we could use our annual $160,000 paving budget for that year and then an additional $119,000 from reserves to complete our portion of the funding,” said Ross.
However, the grant application would only be for phase one, which is the section of Eighth Avenue from Babine Road to Centre Street, and Centre Street from Eighth Avenue to Tenth Avenue. Phase two would involve repaving the section from Eighth Avenue and Centre Street to Shelford Street at a cost of $3.68 million.
The total cost for both phases would be $6.47 million. Since the maximum funding available to any one municipality under the ‘gas tax strategic priorities fund’ is $6 million, village staff suggested just applying for phase one.
Over the past few years, village council and staff have considered other funding possibilities for the project. In 2015, council asked staff to look into borrowing options to fund the repaving project in case the grant funding was not forthcoming. However, this plan did not move forward as it would have involved a substantial increase in taxes and it would’ve reduce the village’s borrowing capacity for up to 25 years.