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Windsor council approves application for two major infrastructure projects during special council meeting

<p lang="en-US">The newly sworn in Windsor town council pose for a photo following the ceremony on Oct. 25, 2016. Pictured are, from left, Laurie Murley, John Bregante, Mayor Anna Allen, Shelley Bibby, and Jim Ivey.</p>
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Rebuild of Highland Avenue plus water source dam upgrades could begin in the spring

WINDSOR, N.S. – If the Windsor, West Hants Co-ordinating Committee gives its stamp of approval, Windsor town council’s application to fund for two major projects should move forward this spring.

Identified as priority projects, the projects include a total rebuild of Highland Avenue and a portion of Churchill Street, including sewer and water lines, with an estimated cost of approximately $2.1 million as well as major upgrades to the Mill Lakes water control dam and control structures, the town’s main source of water, with a price tag of approximately $1.5 million.

If approved, the town would apply through the ICIP (Investing in Canada Plan) to get the projects 40 per cent funded by the federal government and 33 per cent funded by the province, with the town picking up the rest of the tab, 27 per cent.

Todd Richard, the director of public works, said they had to get the applications approved by a special session of council in order to meet ICIP application deadlines.

“These are considered high priority because they’re in our five-year capital plan and one project in particular (the dam upgrades) is a regulatory requirement under the department of environment,” Richard said. “The other project is a high priority for sewer and water reconstruction.”

Highland Avenue was identified in the public works report as high priority due to a spike in water main breaks and infrastructure in high need of replacement.

Richard said the $1.5 million estimate for the dam project is based on a class D estimate so costs could fluctuate as it enters the design phase.

“It’s a rehabilitation of the existing dam structure, raising the height of the dam, upgrading the water control structure, the gate structure, the spillway and about 2.2 kilometres of road construction,” he said.

The road that leads to the dam will need to be upgraded to a forestry standard to allow for supplies to be brought in.

estimates that if both projects receive funding, construction would begin in the spring, with completion likely by November.

Doug Armstrong, the director of finance, said the town would likely need to take on some additional debt to pay for their portion of the projects, but it would be much less than financing them entirely on their own.

Mayor Anna Allen said the co-ordinating committee has to approve any major projects by Windsor or West Hants that could potentially add to either unit’s debt.

“It could affect the future municipality,” Allen said. “This is an expenditure into the future.”

If the co-ordinating committee approves the application on Jan. 10, it’ll go to the next phase.

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