It's news the Town of Altona has been waiting decades to hear. Manitoba Infrastructure has finally agreed to re-do Main Street, the provincially owned road that runs through town.
"It's been in front of this Council for all four years that we've been involved, and it was part of the previous Council as well that I was a part of and I know that it's certainly been important to the people who live here. So, we are delighted to put a check mark next to that item which has been kind of a sore issue for us for some time," said Mayor Al Friesen.
Council and administration has been pounding the pavement, so to speak, a bit harder in recent years for the Province to complete the work. Most recently, the Town was working with Manitoba Infrastructure on the Highway 30 access issue, among other items, and that's when Main Street was brought up once again.
"Within a few days, we had someone from the office call us and say 'let's move ahead. We feel it's time to make this happen', and so they did!" said Friesen, noting Council has always felt the condition of Main St. was the Province's responsibility.
"Our administration and our Council would certainly want to recognize that, as we dealt with Manitoba Infrastructure staff, they provided positive discussions, good perspective, there's been honesty and candor and so, we thank them for that and their willingness to engage our community and our staff in how to move this forward," he added.
Bituminex, which has been in town doing some work this summer, has been awarded the contract and will be returning this fall to start work. The Manitoba government will foot the entire $350,000 bill. A 60 mm layer of mill and fill will be laid along Main St. spanning from Centre Ave to 6th Ave.
While conversations between the Town and Manitoba Infrastructure have previously included the possibility of the Province fixing the road and then passing ownership onto the Town, Friesen says that was not at all a part of the discussions now.
"This was just a project that needed attention, and their willingness to make it happen," he said.
As for Centre Ave., which the Town has also been advocating the Province to re-do, Friesen says that will have to be a conversation for another day. Centre Ave., which also runs through town, is a part of PR 201 to the west and connects to Highway 30 to the east.