Centre Wellington council contemplates $15.4 million in capital projects for 2022

ELORA – Centre Wellington anticipates undertaking $15.4 million in capital projects and $4.7 million on bridges and culverts in 2022.

Staff presented council with next year’s preliminary capital budget, including funding sources, at its committee of the whole meeting on Sept. 7.

Highlights of the proposed projects include phase two of the cultural heritage landscape study, the south Fergus master environmental servicing plan, a water and wastewater servicing master plan, and $60,000 towards a termite management plan.

The most expensive bridge project, at $4.2 million, is bridge 24WG on 1st Line between Sideroads 10 and 15.

Manager of engineering Adam Gilmore told council the span of the bridge is wide and there is “considerable” road work to do to improve the grade from the road to the bridge, which is why replacing the bridge is so expensive.

Staff has earmarked $904,000 in 2022 for the new operations centre recently approved by council. That is in addition to $500,000 for the project in 2021.

Total cost is pegged at $16.5 million with $805,000 coming from debt and $98,000 from reserves.

Councillor Kirk McElwain noticed a budget line for repairs at some of the current operations centres.

“The operations centre will take 20 years to build and we’re still spending money at the old centres. Where does that fit into the budget?” he asked.

CAO Andy Goldie replied, “The intent is to get the new centre running so we’re not putting money into those buildings.” He added the new centre will be built in phases and some of the current building can be sold to help cover debt for the project.

Council approved a motion to include the preliminary draft capital budget and draft bridge and culvert 10-year plan in the 2022 draft budget, which will come to council for further discussion in November.

Councillor Bob Foster voted against the motion but it passed 5-1. Councillor Stephen Kitras was absent from the meeting.

The next pre-budget meeting is slated for Oct. 4, where delegations can speak to council on budget matters.

The draft budget book is expected to be ready by Nov. 22 and two meetings, on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, have been set aside for budget deliberations.

Council is expected to make a final decision on the 2022 budget at its Dec. 20 meeting.