Mapleton prepares for post-pandemic infrastructure push

MAPLETON – Councillors here have authorized public works director Sam Mattina to spend about $145,000 to get two projects shovel ready for an anticipated post-COVID-19 federal infrastructure stimulus program.

“In an effort to assist in post-pandemic economic recovery the federal infrastructure minister has announced a $180-billion program to stimulate the economy in the public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, affordable housing, and trade and transportation sectors,” explained Mattina in a report during the April 28 Mapleton council meeting, held via video-conference.

While full details of the program have yet to be announced, the report states, “What is known so far, is that the program will support projects that are considered to be ‘shovel ready’ and most likely processed on a first come, first served basis.

“There’s not many details but what we do know is competition for the funding will be fierce and frantic so we need to be getting things ready,” Mattina told council.

The two projects identified in Mattina’s report are:

  • rehabilitation of a bowstring arch bridge on Sideroad 18, north of 3rd Line, valued at $650,000: and
  • reconstruction of Sideroad 21 from 14th Line to 16th Line, valued at $1,155,000.

“These two projects have a combined estimated value of $1,805,000. This estimated value includes all engineering and contract administration costs, to achieve shovel-ready status,” Mattina states in the report.

Councillor Marlene Ottens asked why those particular projects were selected by the township’s management team.

“Is it because they are quite pricey?” she wondered.

Mattina responded, “The strategy was to choose two high-value projects that would significantly save the municipality some money (to offset) the financial impacts of COVID-19. So yes, they were basically chosen for the value.”

Mayor Gregg Davidson pointed out the management group also considered other projects brought forward by Mattina.

“These are the ones we landed on,” he stated.

Council approved a resolution authorizing Mattina to procure engineering resources in the amount of approximately $145,000, before HST, to bring the two projects to shovel-ready status.