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Rondeau reflects on the MD's year and 2011

The MD of Bonnyville's Reeve Ed Rondeau recently discussed some of the year's accomplishments such as Wolf Lake Road, and the new Kinosoo Ridge ski chalet, and the year's challenges, from the weather to balancing funding.

The MD of Bonnyville's Reeve Ed Rondeau recently discussed some of the year's accomplishments such as Wolf Lake Road, and the new Kinosoo Ridge ski chalet, and the year's challenges, from the weather to balancing funding.

The MD's biggest challenges of the year was Mother Nature.

“The weather was our biggest enemy last year, caused us a lot of grief, it caused us a lot of grief with our residents because the roads weren't holding up as well as they could under heavy traffic.”

He said all the projects slowed down because of rain, as close to two months worth of working days were lost. The MD managed to pave two thirds of the nine miles of roads it had set out to pave in 2010.

But he said it was the first time the MD had done gravel work from early spring to late fall, and it used up all the gravel it purchased and stock-piled reserves.

In 2011, gravel will be a large number in the budget he said. The MD will purchase gravel from pits.

Another challenge Rondeau foresees is balancing funding requests from both Bonnyville and Cold Lake.

“It's going to become a bigger challenge,” he said, explaining how the MD didn't have that problem in the past.

“Now it seems like we have to consider both sides,” he said, giving the example of when the MD funded doctor recruitment in Bonnyville, and then Cold Lake wanted funds for the same cause.

“It's not that they shouldn't (ask), it's just that that's the predicament it puts us in. So whenever we're giving something out, we have to consider that if it's $100,000 for something, it's not 100, it's ($200,000). So it's affecting our decision-making.”

Rondeau said one of the MD's biggest accomplishments of the year was completing Wolf Lake Road construction.

“That's going to be huge because once we get it paved, it's going to open up a corridor there for the oil companies and it will resolve, of course, the residents' issues with dust and stuff.”

He also highlighted the recent completion of the new chalet at Kinosoo Ridge Snow Resort, calling it, “one of the nicest facilities in the whole region.”

Rondeau also cited the new MD Public Works building and Parks and Recreation building.

For Rondeau, some of the MD's goals for the new year include expanding the Bonnyville office and doing some renovating. The MD plans to pave both Wolf Lake Road and Dupre Road, and to work with the oil industry to further reduce dust issues, resulting from heavier oil traffic in recent years.

“That's becoming a bigger and bigger issue all the time. It was a big issue last year and it was a wet year, so you can imagine if it had been a dry year.”

He said the MD will also look to discuss road maintenance and repair and gravelling, beyond just grading with the oil companies.

“In some cases, we're going to have to try to negotiate some upgrading to some certain roads simply because they have a high volume of heavy traffic on them.”