Cranbrook’s Dedicated Road Tax keeps paying off
Major investments into city roads and infrastructure thanks to the one per cent dedicated road tax continues to show a significant increase in the amount of road paving completed annually, greatly improving the overall quality of our streets in the City of Cranbrook.
Since its inception in 2010, about $14,038,000 has been collected through the one per cent dedicated road tax and earmarked completely to improving the roads in Cranbrook.
It started in 2010 with about $180,000 and in 2020 the road dedicated tax reached $2.5 million. The city has spent approximately $49.8 million on the overall road program since 2010 including $10 million in borrowing to repair and replace all things related to road work including pavement, curb, gutter along with storm, water, and sanitary sewer infrastructure.
Infrastructure investment is closely linked with economic output and is of vital importance to make this city grow and develop. With the municipal election in 2015 and a new Mayor and Council coming on board, this became a priority. The local economy has benefited from the one per cent road tax. Positive changes to the city’s tendering processes have helped significantly to keep tax dollars local and employ local contractors and workers.
“We brought in positive changes to the city’s overall tendering process to allow local contractors to bid on this important work. Local contractors were successful in being awarded these contracts at significant savings to the taxpayer,” said Mayor Lee Pratt.
“In 2010, it was the norm to issue only one or two big contracts for our road work, whereas now we typically issue four or five separate contracts each year,” said Mike Matejka, Manager of Infrastructure Planning and Delivery for the City of Cranbrook. “What this change has done is diversified our investment into the local economy, with multiple contractors having opportunities to take part in roadworks, while ensuring strong competition for good prices and quality of work.”
Large parts of our arterial road network has seen major investments over the past six years, which covers most heavy traffic areas used by our emergency response vehicles, commercial and transit traffic. 11th Avenue South, 2nd Street South, Cobham Avenue, College Way, Industrial Road 2, and Theatre Road have had significant reconstruction work completed to a very high standard which will ultimately reduce long- term maintenance and life cycle costs for taxpayers. A significant number of residential streets have also been able to have paving and infrastructure renewal work done thanks to this investment.
An important and quite visible part of the capital roads program is repaving activities.
“The overall road conditions in Cranbrook are trending in a positive direction due to the dedicated tax investments, and we are very much in line with other cities across the province,” said Matejka. “There is still a lot of work left to do and looking ahead our residents can expect continued growth in the amount of work done year over year.”
Looking ahead over the next five years, the dedicated road tax is expected to add another nearly $17 million to our capital roads program by 2025.
For the 2021 capital roads program, several roads will be receiving upgrades and resurfacing from the one per cent road tax including: Victoria Avenue; 14th Avenue; Theatre Road, 30th Avenue and Innes Avenue. Reconstruction on both 30th Avenue and Innes Avenue is well underway with major upgrades to these road structures to accommodate bus traffic. The remaining resurfacing projects will see work beginning in the coming weeks with completion scheduled for the end of July.
Lead image: Work on 8th Avenue South last year. City of Cranbrook photo
City of Cranbrook