A major water project for the Town of Nanton is one of dozens of rural infrastructure projects receiving grant money this year from the provincial government.

On Thursday, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors, Devin Dreeshen reiterated the government’s commitment to provide more than $236 million in grants this year for transportation and infrastructure projects in small and rural municipalities. 

The money was originally announced in the 2024 provincial budget.

“These provincial grants will help local communities repair aging infrastructure and build capacity for future population and economic growth,” said Dreeshen. “Upgrades to water and wastewater infrastructure, airports, bridges and roads will improve Albertans’ quality of life and improve everyday travel.” 

One of the biggest projects to be funded this year is a $13.7-million grant to support the construction of a regional waterline from the Town of High River to the Town of Nanton, helping to address water supply issues in Nanton. 

“Really great news for the town,” said Corporate Services Manager Clayton Gillespie. “It's going to provide a real reliable source of water and it's a real benefit.” 

The Town of Nanton has been working to address its water supply issues for some time and has recently begun working with the Town of High River to come up with solutions. 

The towns were given funding for a water feasibility study in 2022 and last year, Nanton requested formal support from the Town of High River to pursue Water for Life funding for the regional potable water connection between the two municipalities.

“It was a little unexpected to hear it this soon, but we certainly welcome to hear that and it'll be a big project," added Gillespie. "It'll take some time and it'll be good.” 

He anticipates that work won't officially start on the project for another couple of years.

Another big project on the list for 2024 is in the Town of Coaldale where $4.5 million will be given by the province for the town’s new treated reservoir and pump station. The project is expected to cost about $12.5 million. 

Other projects receiving grants this year include a bridge replacement in the MD of Willow Creek. The province is funding about $4.7 million of the $6.3 million cost. 

The province is also granting $264,809 for a culvert replacement in Foothills County and over $522,000 for bridge repairs in the MD of Taber. 

The High River Regional Airport is also getting a boost of over $642,000 for runway light replacements.  

New infiltration structures and pipeline connections are also being built in the MD of Pincher Creek with the Alberta government granting $1.35 million toward the total cost of $1.8 million. 

The funding is being distributed through the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP), the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) and the Water for Life program.