Fort Saskatchewan city councillor Lisa Makin has given her opinion on the proposed expansion of Veterans Way (Highway 21).
The proposed bylaw, which involves borrowing almost $5 million, received approval from all but two members of city council during its first reading.
The two city council members who voted against the idea of borrowing money for the expansion were Jibs Abitoye and Mayor Gale Katchur, who both prefer getting funding through a provincial grant.
Although Makin likes the idea of a grant, she says that grants take time to get approved, and aren't always a guarantee for funding.
"We can never rely on a grant. We have asked the province to step up and help us with this corridor," said Makin.
The councillor added that with Fort Saskatchewan's population rising, that stretch of highway will start to get much busier.
"Our traffic analysis shows that part of the highway should be expanded by the time we hit a population of 30,000," said Makin. "We are expecting our census will come back between 28,000 to 29,000."
Makin says that although the funding would come from taxpayers, it wouldn't raise taxes that much.
"This is really multi-generational infrastructure that we need. Doing it through debt financing does allow for the infrastructure to be paid for multi-generationally," Makin said. "Me as a taxpayer, I'm going to pay for it now. My children will pay for it, and my children's children will pay for it."
"So that one generation isn't solely bearing the cost of infrastructure that's meant to be used for the next 40 or 60 years."
Council is expected to give final approval of the funding in the coming weeks.