For the second time this summer Madawaska Valley staff and members of Council heard positive news at the corner of Paugh Lake Road and Opeongo Line (Hwy 60) in Barry’s Bay – this time from MP Cheryl Gallant. On August 29 she announced the federal government has approved the Township’s application under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Only five weeks earlier MPP John Yakabuski met MV staff and Council on site to confirm that the province had recommended the application. The ICIP funding will allow MV to rehabilitate 11.66 kilometres of Paugh Lake Road from Opeongo Line (Hwy 60) up to Trebinskie Road and Wilno North Road. Above photo from left: Operations Supervisor Mike Phillips, MP Cheryl Gallant, Operations Manager Hilary Kutchkoskie, Treasurer Amanda Hudder, Mayor Kim Love, Councillors Mark Willmer, David Shulist, Carl Bromwich.
Mayor Kim Love explained this federal funding allows the Township to complete the road rehabilitation by the end of 2020, instead of completing it in 2 kilometre stages over the next eight to ten years. MV had previously rehabilitated 2 kilometres of the road and the ICIP funded project will reach that section.
Treasurer Amanda Hudder said the municipality was very grateful to receive the funding. She explained the local infrastructure needs are so great because MV has a lot of kilometres to take care of. She said, “The government providing us with this ICIP funding and the Gas Tax funding allows us to take some of that money that we would have used on this road and move it towards other infrastructure needs as well that need to be addressed.”
Love explained this is a major project for the Township. She said Paugh Lake Road is a main artery for both residents and tourists. Operations Manager Hilary Kutchkoskie told Gallant it was important to note the road serves as an emergency route when sections of Hwy. 60 or Hwy. 17 are inaccessible.
Gallant congratulated Council’s foresight and the hard work of municipal staff. Kutchkoskie said Township staff worked as a team to prepare the ICIP application. Gallant told The Current she was aware of five successful ICIP applications in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, out of ten such projects in all of Eastern Ontario. She said, “This speaks to the quality of applications that were put forth here.”
Kutchkoskie plans to send out the first phase of tenders for the culvert work as soon as possible. He aims to install the culverts this fall and address some of the issues evident during the 2019 flooding. He and Mayor Love said that next spring they want the water to go under the road and not over it.
When asked for the exact amount of funding, Hudder gave The Current a breakdown of the total project cost of $3,121,233.40 requested in the Township’s ICIP application:
- Federal ask: $1,872.740.04
- Provincial ask: $1,040,307.09
- Township portion: $208,186.27
She said the official letter from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the funding agreement will confirm the exact amounts.