The RM of Reciprocity hosted the Minister of Highways last night at their Annual Ratepayers' Supper to celebrate the agreement they made last fall to rebuild Highways 318 and 361.
"The RM had invited me down to their Annual Ratepayers' Supper," shared Minister of Highways, David Marit. "It was a great time, they had quite a few for their supper and I just really wanted to acknowledge the whole council and administration to the ratepayers there. I wanted to thank their council and administration in front of their ratepayers and also, I wanted to thank the ratepayers. They put skin in the game, they put money into this and we know that the only place that municipalities get their money from is from taxes."
"I was pretty adamant that I wanted to be there for the biggest reason of all is it was my first as Minister of Highways, it was my first partnership agreement that I signed with a rural municipality last November. And it was on two highways that run through their municipality, Highways 318 and 361 where the Ministry of Highways and the Rural Municipality of Reciprocity entered into a partnership agreement to fund upgrades to both of those highways."
"I'm very excited about it."
Once the upgrades are made, the RM will take ownership of those highways and be responsible for maintenance.
"It's a five-year agreement. We will pay them for the maintenance and they will look after that road once it's reconstructed."
Tenders will be going out in the coming months and construction will begin in June or July 2018.
"I wanted to leave the tendering part of it in the hands of the municipality. They know the local contractors, they have an engineering firm that they work with and at the end of the day, we wanted to make sure it was something they were comfortable with."
"I'm humbled by the municipality sitting down with me and negotiating and working out an agreement to help rebuild provincial highways that run through their jurisdiction for the betterment of the citizens of not only their municipality but others who may use that highway to drive through."
He added that another project is already in the works for south of Weyburn on Highway 18 from Highway 35 to Highway 6.