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Service road expected to kickstart development

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Coming to the provincial government with a solution has allowed the City of Dauphin to proceed with a project vital to future development, earlier than anticipated.
As result, the city will foot the bill for a service road along Main Street South this year and be reimbursed by the province next year.
The road in question will run on the west side of Main Street from Triangle Road in the south, north to a point terminating just south of the vet clinic.
With the South Main sewer project finally complete, there has been considerable interest shown in developable land between Reit-Syd Equipment and Dauphin Veterinary Clinic, said City CAO Brad Collett.
The city has received calls from the landowner and a number of developers.
“They suggested that they would be interested in that piece of land, but needed a frontage road. One in particular, a national chain, requires a paved frontage road,” Collett said.
“It is exciting because we have that one in particular that really wants to get going and is in the final stages with a national chain to move forward. And they want a piece of that land.”
As a result, while ideally they wanted to see the entire project completed from Triangle Road to the Co-op Gas Bar in the north, city officials discussed the idea of doing what they needed to, to get development in the area underway.
That precipitated a meeting between Mayor Allen Dowhan, Collett and Manitoba Infrastructure officials in Winnipeg.
“It was an excellent meeting. They basically toed the party line and said that they couldn’t commit to doing the entire project, because the entire project is around $9 million or thereabouts,” Collett said.
“It is a huge project and it would totally change the way traffic in Dauphin is viewed in the south end. It is a very needed project for safety, as well as for traffic movement.”
Unable to commit to such a cost right now and not wanting to piecemeal such a large project, deputy-minister Bramwell Strain suggested the frontage road could be revisited in a few years.
“We said ‘what if we front this, because you mentioned cash flow issues. We build it to your standards and you pay us back when you do the rest of the project’,” Collett said.
“The deputy-minister sat back in his chair and said ‘you are the first people who have ever come to my office with a solution.’ He said ‘yes we will work with you’.”
Collett said between that meeting and Dauphin MLA Brad Michaleski lobbying the Minister on behalf of the city, things started moving quickly. Manitoba Infrastructure officials instructed the regional office in Dauphin to begin working on the project immediately.
“They said they would start work this week on the project. It sounds like they will do the design, they will do the tendering, they will do the awarding of the tender and they will do the construction management,” Collett said.
“We will just pay the bills. We will sign a memorandum of understanding with the province and they will pay us back entirely by May of next year.”
While there is no solid cost for the project as of yet, Collett said the city can expect a price tag of about $500,000, give or take.
“We will take money from reserves and we will replenish it when we get paid back. But that will be all through the budget process this year,” Collett said adding it is exciting to see south end development get rolling.
“We want the whole project, but we really need this piece of it now because we are getting phone calls. It doesn’t mean there is going to be construction in 2018, but it allows the developers to start planning. Buy the land, start the subdivision process. Do everything they need to behind the scenes.”