The Municipal District of Bonnyville continues to be a leader in partnering with neighbouring urban municipalities in our region. This is a role that Council has been doing for a number of years, and will continue to do so. In the coming year, Council will see the expiration of the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range (CLAWR) Agreement. Currently, the M.D.’s agreement with the province helps cover the costs of regular maintenance and snow removal of the La Corey North Resource Road. This road runs north from La Corey to the Air Weapons Range border. However, we are negotiating with the province for major road maintenance needed to save this road. It is in dire need of an asphalt overlay, with an estimated price tag of between $15 and $20 million. With this in mind, the new agreement will need to address this issue.
In the interim, Council is lobbying the province to take over this road. It would become an extension of Highway 41, thereby removing the need to negotiate for major maintenance. This is the only road that goes to the Air Weapons Range to service the oil industry in that area. The only other road that serves the CLAWR is Highway 897. This road only serves 4 Wing and is not for industry traffic. In regards to a new Air Weapons Range Agreement, after this one expires at the end of 2016, we the M.D., are not asking for additional dollars, except for road maintenance, both regular and major. But we are asking that a fair distribution of the residual revenue be given to our neighbouring municipalities of Bonnyville, Glendon and Cold Lake. Council is not suggesting that the City of Cold Lake receive any less revenue. In the initial discussions, it was always suggested by the province that the revenue from the CLAWR would grow and then the province would look at a new sharing formula for this surplus. The M.D. wishes to reiterate that we are not looking at the CLAWR as a source of new money. The M.D. is looking forward to working with all of our neighbors to arrive at an amicable conclusion for the next term of the new agreement.
– Reeve Ed Rondeau