Bridge Repairs in Rural Municipalities
Res #: 17-13A
Responses Received: No
WHEREAS there are many bridges located in RMs which will require major repairs over the next few years; and
WHEREAS there is a considerable shortfall in funding for these projects and RMs may wait years for project approval; and
WHEREAS at present RMs cannot build ahead of approval without losing the bridge grant for its project;
BE IT RESOLVED that rural municipalities be allowed to build in advance of bridge funding approval knowing that when the project reaches the top of the priority list the grant will be paid retroactively; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Provincial Government be lobbied to increase funding for bridge repairs in rural municipalities.
Response from Honourable Don McMorris, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure:
In this Resolution, SARM requests increased funding for bridges and culverts and to build in advance of bridge funding approval under the Municipal Roads for the Economy Program (MREP).
Funding for MREP is allocated annually as part of the Government of Saskatchewan's budget cycle. Funding levels and project priority change on a yearly basis depending on the applications received, making it impossible to guarantee
future funding approval for projects that have been constructed in advance of the yearly funding allocation and application evaluation.
The 2013-14 budget for MREP is $25.5M, an increase of $2M from last year, of which the municipal bridges and culverts sub-program received $6 Min funding. Prior to the $2M increase this year, MREP funding had been maintained at $23.5M over the past three years after an initial $47M in 2009-10. From 2004-05 to 2006-07, municipal road funding averaged only $3.5M per year.
For 2013-14, 40 municipal bridge and culvert projects will be completed with this year's funding. From 2009 to 2012, a total of219 municipal bridge and culvert projects were completed with $32.7M in assistance from MREP being provided to mral municipalities.
The responsibility for MREP is jointly administered through a Program Management Board (PMB), which is co-chaired by the Ministry and SARM. The PMB is responsible to allocate funding between the priorities of the Clearing the Path, Heavy Haul/High Volume, and Bridges and Culverts sub-programs.