By Stephen Dafoe
Sturgeon County – County Council unanimously approved first reading of a borrowing bylaw Tuesday morning that would see the municipality borrow up to $528,000 to fund two bridges on Township Road 554 (Cardiff Road), work the County deems necessary in preparation for the broader work of reconstructing the road between Highways 28 and just east of Highway 2. The two bridges are located at Twp. Rd. 554 west of Range Road 245 and Twp Rd. 554 west of Highway 28. The estimated cost of the two capital projects are $337,000 and $191,000 respectively.
Rick Wojtkiw, General Manager of Corporate Services, said rather than fund the projects through Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding; Sturgeon County could borrow the funds for the projects because the bridges are long term assets. The bridges have a life expectancy of approximately 40 years for the bridge west of 245 and 75 years for the bridge west of Hwy. 28.
Sturgeon County is proposing borrowing the money over a period of 15 years from the Alberta Capital Finance Authority or other authorized lending body. Currently, the rate of interest on a 15-year debenture is 2.965 per cent, a percentage that would cost the county $129,929 in interest over the decade-and-a-half amortization period. The annual repayment on the debenture, if approved, would be approximately $43,000 per year.
The bridge work would form a portion of an overall Township Road 554 upgrade estimated to cost approximately $5 million.