The District of Lake Country expects the Ministry of Transportation to pay for snow removal costs this winter along Pelmewash Parkway as talks continue about devolution of the old Highway 97.
Talks between the District of Lake Country and the ministry will continue through the fall and winter as the province looks to hand over control of the stretch of road along Wood Lake.
But it will likely be well into the 2014 calendar year before any agreement is close to being reached on final control of the nine kilometres of road that will be handed over from the province to the district.
“Discussions are continuing with the ministry (of transportation) on what conditions the highway is in and when do we take over,” said Stephen Banmen, Lake Country’s deputy chief administrative officer.
“It’s not so much when can we implement the plan that is being put together it’s more about when are we on the hook for maintaining it. When do we have to use our crews? We do not expect that we will have to do the winter maintenance in 2013-14.”
Maintenance on the road is a big part of the talks, according to Banmen.
With no conceptual plan yet to be approved by district council, it’s still going to be a long time before any permanent work is done on Pelmewash Parkway.
Banmen said the current road may move or have cycling or pedestrian lanes added so doing any kind of large maintenance project on the road before it’s handed over to the district would be a waste.
“The municipality wants it either turned over to us in good shape so that we don’t have to spend lots of money maintaining it or we want money in lieu of improving it,” said Banmen.
“One thing both sides agree on is the roadway itself may change in certain ways. It may move over from one side to the other. We don’t want the province to go in and spend a bunch of money and then a few years later we go in and rip it up because of the way we’ve designed it.”
There is work underway at both ends of Pelmewash Parkway as shouldering and paving is underway.
Banmen said the province has also agreed to do some immediate maintenance where the road surface may be crumbling but added the district would prefer money in lieu of repairs with the future of the roadway uncertain.