WHEREAS the province is experiencing dramatic development and growth; andWHEREAS Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation is attempting to deal with infrastructure requirements in light of budgetary constraints by developing new policies for provincial highway infrastructure governed by the Public Highways Development Act; andWHEREAS municipalities wish to ensure that the policies of Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation are applied in a consistent, equitable and principled manner across Alberta; andWHEREAS municipalities wish to work in concert with Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation on planning and development in respect of provincial highway infrastructure required in the province; andWHEREAS Rural Alberta is the engine that is driving the economy of the Province of Alberta and rural municipalities are already stressed dealing with the impact of growth in their own areas without having to support the Provincial Highway System; andWHEREAS a municipality’s mandate respecting highways is limited to municipally controlled highways not provincial highways;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urges the Government of Alberta to:1. provide increased resources to Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation to allow for proper planning and management in areas where provincial highway construction is or will be occurring, to ensure that Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation and municipalities can meet their short and long term planning goals; and2. be responsible for upgrading or expansion of provincial highways to accommodate development.
In the matter of a permit issued by Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation for a development within the County of Vermilion River (the Municipality) to occur along Highway 16, it was a condition of the permit that the developer pay for a turning lane completely within the primary highway road allowance from the highway to the area of the development. The developer completed a Traffic Impact Assessment, which was provided to Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation, which indicated that no provincial highway upgrades were required due to the development but if traffic increased at the current rate upgrades would be necessary in 16 years. The highway upgrade would benefit the development but would also provide benefit to other existing and future developments in the area. Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation required that the developer would be responsible for one hundred percent of the cost of the provincial highway improvement with Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation providing no financial resources to the construction of the highway improvement. Clearly, the provincial highway improvement would benefit other lands, including lands beyond the 800 meter setback from the provincial highway.The municipality raised concerns respecting the inequitable and consistent apportionment of provincial infrastructure costs in the Municipality and throughout Alberta. Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation suggested an alternative, namely that the Municipality could enter into a Highway Vicinity Manage Plan with Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation whereby the developer’s cost contribution could be reduced (from 100% of the cost of the turning lane, to a lesser percentage) and the Municipality would be required to address costs apportionment and collection of the balance from other benefiting lands including lands beyond the 800 meter setback from the provincial highway. The Municipality would take on the responsibility of collection the costs for the provincial highway improvements according to the terms of such a Highway Vicinity management Plan.
Resolution 14-05F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the provincial government to address the accumulating provincial highway infrastructure debt by allocating $2.668 billion over 10 years to rehabilitate affected roads so that they reach acceptable standards; AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the provincialgovernment to form a task force that would investigate and prioritize new construction projects critical to enhancing primary and secondary highways in Alberta.Resolution 5-06S: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties review with Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation the manner of exercising their imposition of conditions under Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Subdivision and Development Regulations.
A policy paper, Building a Highway Network: Who Pays for Highway Improvements as a Result of Development on this issue was developed and accepted by the membership at the Spring 2008 convention. This paper was brought forward to government but has not received a response. The paper is now included as a part of the association’s regular advocacy effort to the Minister of Transportation.