De­cem­ber open­ing date tar­get for re­paired bridge

Shoreline Beacon - - Classifieds -

the provin­cial gov­ern­ment has turned down Bruce county’s ap­pli­ca­tion for dis­as­ter re­lief fund­ing for ch­es­ley's main Street bridge.

di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate ser­vices Bet­tanne cobean told county coun­cil nov. 1 that provin­cial of­fi­cials in­formed the county ver­bally of the de­ci­sion, say­ing that el­i­gi­ble costs do not meet the thresh­old to trig­ger dis­as­ter re­lief.

of the es­ti­mated $3 mil­lion re­place­ment cost fol­low­ing flood­ing last Fe­bru­ary, the prov­ince de­ter­mined only ap­prox­i­mately $858,000 was el­i­gi­ble, well short of the $1.29 mil­lion re­quired un­der the dis­as­ter re­lief for­mula.

cobean said there’s been no ex­pla­na­tion on how the for­mula was cal­cu­lated, but she sus­pects the fact the bridge was 96 years old was a key fac­tor.

cobean said county of­fi­cials are ar­rang­ing a con­fer­ence call with their provin­cial coun­ter­parts to get a more in­for­ma­tion about how dis­as­ter re­lief cal­cu­la­tions are made.

cobean said the county would pay for the bridge in­ter­nally. in the mean­time, an ap­pli­ca­tion has been made to the on­tario com­mu­nity in­fra­struc­ture Fund (oSiF) for ap­prox­i­mately $690,000 in fund­ing.

War­den Paul Ea­gle­son said he was dis­ap­pointed, but not sur­prised, con­sid­er­ing the age of the bridge, which was sched­uled for re­pair in a cou­ple of years.

“yeah it went out on an emer­gency, but yet, we should’ve been sav­ing money to re­place it, so it doesn’t shock me that we didn’t re­ceive that emer­gency fund­ing. it’s un­for­tu­nate,” Ea­gle­son said.

di­rec­tor of trans­porta­tion and en­vi­ron­ment Ser­vices miguel Pel­letier said the bridge is still on tar­get to open some time in de­cem­ber.

“now that doesn’t mean all of the work will be done, we might have to do some work in the spring,” Pel­letier said. “our tar­get is to open the bridge and make sure it’s open so the peo­ple don’t have to use the de­tour over the win­ter.”

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