Green TRIP project put on hold

By Staff

Sturgeon County – County Council voted 6-1 Tuesday in favour of holding off on a proposed Green TRIP application with the City of Fort Saskatchewan.

The proposed $3.5 million project would create a Park and Ride and Transit Facility near the intersection of Highways 37 and15. The location was selected to give County residents access to existing inter-municipal transit services and industry-supported Park and Ride services as well as prepare for traffic flow when industrial development blossoms in the Heartland.

The estimated annual costs of operating the facility would be $280,000, of which the County would be responsible for a yet-to-be-determined portion.

Council heard the project would give Sturgeon County an opportunity to buy into an infrastructure project at 17 cents on the dollar, but Mayor Don Rigney questioned whether the project was motivated by need or by the availability of government funding.

Although the project was an opportunity for Sturgeon County to take advantage of the first round of proposals for the province’s $2 billion Green TRIP program, an initiative geared towards eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by reducing traffic on Alberta highways, County council decided to take a wait-and-see approach.

Division 6 Councillor Karen Shaw recommended deferring any action until 2011 when it is believed the province will accept a second round of proposals. Shaw said she wanted to wait and see what industry was doing in the area.

Division 3 Councillor Ken McGillis agreed holding off was the best course of action for Sturgeon County. The councillor said the Park and Ride might be a gem, but he would hate to see an annual operation cost if only two or three residents were making use of it.

Shaw and McGillis were supported by Mayor Rigney and two other Councillors McGeachy and Flynn in voting for deferral. Division 4 Councillor David Kluthe cast the single opposing vote for the deferral.

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