WHEREAS municipal roadway networks are vital components to economic development and for the efficient and safe movement of all Albertans; andWHEREAS increases in resource activity demands a high quality road infrastructure; andWHEREAS the provincial government has committed to address the transportation and infrastructure deficit, and is experiencing provincial surpluses at present; andWHEREAS the Government of Alberta declassified many secondary highways to be under the control of municipal governments; andWHEREAS many municipalities are not financially able to sufficiently maintain these declassified roads;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Government of Alberta to reclassify the previously declassified secondary highways now causing undue financial stress on municipal governments.
In the early 1990s, local governments were responsible for the maintenance and a portion of the capital improvements of the secondary highway system. This created undue financial hardship for many municipalities. Under the Secondary Highways Partnership Program introduced in 1993/94, municipalities were credited for their share of future grading costs for the mutually agreeable deletion of secondary highways. Faced with increasing financial pressure, many municipalities felt they had no choice but to choose this option.Many of those previously declassified roads are still considered through local roads and should be maintained and improved according to secondary highway standards. Now, faced with an already existing infrastructure debt, municipalities would like to see the Province assume responsibility of this road system.
Resolution 14-05F urged the provincial government to form a task force that would investigate and prioritize new construction projects critical to enhancing primary and secondary highways in Alberta. The AAMDC would like to recognize the merit of the $3 billion funding initiative to address some of these concerns, however, the $3 Billion does not address the already accrued infrastructure debt and will not serve to rehabilitate or address previous dilapidation of infrastructure. The Association wants to ensure that rural infrastructure is not being addressed second in the allocation of infrastructure dollars.
The AAMDC will continue to monitor the status of the review of highway functions. As well, the AAMDC continues to encourage the government to put an emphasis on quantifying the infrastructure deficit and ensuring that funding levels are at appropriate levels for maintenance of roads.