WHEREAS the Resource Road Program and the prior Resource Road/New Industry Program were generally created to assist municipalities in the province in improving their resource intense roadways;AND WHEREAS the selection criteria to determine funding is based on a point system considering such things as truck traffic volumes, resource industry value and added new jobs, etc.;AND WHEREAS the result of the criteria review process is a focus of funding to the most active and resource investment rich municipalities and not necessarily other areas that are resource busy which do not reach the same levels of resource investment as the extremely active areas;AND WHEREAS limited funding is available and the criteria process has created an inequity in funding amongst Albertas municipalities;AND WHEREAS the result is that the Resource Road Program is not addressing the needs of all municipalities affected by resource-based activity on roads;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the provincial government to introduce additional funds and another funding category to the Resource Road Program to create a more equitable distribution of funds throughout Albertas municipalities affected by resource-based activity.
The Resource Road Program and the Resource Road/New Industry Program were generally created to assist municipalities in the province in improving their resource intense roadways. There is a limited amount of funds available each year and therefore only some of the municipalities receive grants.The selection criteria used to select the projects for funding assistance are based on a point system. Traffic volumes (existing), truck traffic volumes, resource industry value and added new jobs are used to ascertain which projects deserved more points than others. Unfortunately, these criteria have created an inequity in funding throughout the province.There has been repeat funding for certain municipalities over the years. In some cases more than one project has been funded per municipality. This does not spread the funding around and limits the funding to the most active locations in the province. Areas that are resource busy but do not reach the same levels of resource investment get short changed by the present system. The funding needs to be spread out.Possible Solution:A possible solution may be to create two components to the Resource Road Program. Each component would have its own pool of funds to be distributed and its own criteria. One component of the program could target funding towards the groups with extremely high resource activity. The other component could focus on the groups that have a large amount of resource-based activity affecting their roads but cannot compete, in the current point rating system, against municipalities with the most active locations.If this type of system were accepted and implemented, it would be desirable that new or additional funding be introduced to fund the second component of the program and that the current $17 million remain in the proposed first component.It should be noted that there are more applications coming from towns, villages, etc. Some of these municipalities did not realize they could apply for this funding in the past. This may further the imbalance realized in the current Resource Road Program.
The AAMDC has one resolution currently in effect with respect to this issue. Resolution 34-03F urges the provincial government to establish a separate resource road grant program to assist with upgrading roads in municipalities with extreme terrain and climatic conditions such as the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, local or destination traffic rather than through traffic, and the agricultural industry.