Funding Caps for Bridge and Large Diameter Culvert Replacements
Res #: 22-14M
Responses Received: No
WHEREAS the costs of bridge and large diameter culvert replacements are increasing yearly; and
WHEREAS a $750,000.00 cap has been instituted on funding for road construction and bridge and large diameter culvert replacements under the Municipal Roads for the Economy (MREP); and
WHEREAS many bridge projects are over a million dollars, which then places a very large financial bill on municipalities even after the grant has been received; and
WHEREAS municipalities are able to take advantage of the MREP grant program for large road construction projects by separating different lengths of road projects into more than one year, thereby receiving what may be considered inequitable extra funding; and
WHEREAS bridge and large diameter culvert replacements are a one- time project and capped at $750,000.00 in funding in the year of the project;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to increase the funding on bridge and large diameter culvert replacement projects to previous levels to allow municipalities the ability to access more grant monies; therefore allowing more projects to be completed in a timely manner and at the same time lowering the cost in these municipalities.
Response from the Honorable Nancy Heppner, Minister of Highways & Infrastructure
This resolution requests the provincial government increase the funding on bridge and large diameter culvert replacement projects to allow municipalities the ability to access more grant monies.
The grant monies for rural municipal bridge and large diameter culver t placement projects are a component of the Municipal Roads for the Economy Program (MREP) which is co-managed by SARM and the MHI. In accordance with the MREP agreement between SARM and MHI,annual funding is provided by the provincial budget appropriation.
In accordance with the MREP Agreement, a Program Management Board (PMB) comprised of up to five SARM and up to three MHI voting representatives, apportions the MREP budget to the various components. This includes municipal bridges and large diameter replacements, rehabilitation, repairs, and inspections; municipal road Heavy Haul- High Volume, and Clearing the Path capital construction projects, Clearing the Path annual incremental maintenance payments, as well as the municipal road traffic counting program.
The PMB reviews the funding cap and sets it each year in accordance with project needs versus available funding.
I will ask the PMB to consider the resolution passed at the SARM Midterm Convention regarding raising the funding cap for municipal bridge and large diameter culvert replacements when they review the grant structure.
I am confident that the PMB will be diligent when setting the funding cap to balance project needs with funding availability.