Wellington North taking another swing at provincial funding for roadwork

KENILWORTH – Wellington North is taking another swing at the province’s Connecting Link funding, hoping the application is knocked out of the park.

Council here approved another submission requesting the province pay for a portion of the cost for resurfacing Smith Street (Highway 6) through Arthur, north of the Conestogo River bridge to Wells Street.

The same project was rejected by the province in the last intake, which saw 37 applicants vying for a piece of the $30 million pie in 2022-23.

Transportation ministry issues management coordinator Simi Ikotun told the Advertiser earlier this year the township’s previous application did not meet evaluated priorities of safety, road condition, project readiness and cost effectiveness.

At the time, Mayor Andy Lennox said the township’s “batting average is pretty darn good,” adding the municipality would keep on swinging, despite the disappointment.

Should the latest application be successful, the township would fund somewhere around $117,347 of an estimated $1.17 million project cost (pre-tax), with the province covering the difference.

Project design would begin in 2023 with construction intended for 2024.

At a Nov. 7 council meeting, Mayor Andy Lennox said it would be prudent to request a meeting with transportation minister Caroline Mulroney to “express our gratitude for the support, particularly with Queen Street East.”

The province, through the Connecting Link program, covered $1.42 million of the $4.08 million Queen Street East (Highway 89) reconstruction project completed this year.

“It’s much improved from what it was previously, and we’ve been very fortunate to access this program fairly frequently over the last number of years,” Lennox said.