Highlands East is offering a grant for private citizens to fix private roads.

The municipality has created a grant for people to use as a way to upgrade and maintain roads that are not owned by the municipality.

According to the bylaw creating the grant program, “The objective of this grant is to assist and encourage the regular maintenance and improvement of private roads resulting in better accessibility for traffic. ”

Anyone that wants to apply to that grant needs to follow a specific procedure to do so. The first step is “The property owners (including undeveloped lots) fronting and/or utilizing a
specific private road must form a road maintenance group which shall include or represent at least two-thirds (2/3) of those property owners”

Step two has the property owner that the private road rests on need to provide written permission for any work to be done. Step three says “The grant to be provided shall be determined by Council based on the calculation of “x” factor plus “y” factor during the yearly budget process as defined in Appendix “A” of this bylaw.” It goes on to say ” ‘x’ factor shall represent a dollar value per kilometre of roadway and “y” factor shall represent a dollar value per property owner”

The fourth step reads “all applications shall be forwarded to the Municipal Treasurer who shall have the responsibility/authority of determining grant eligibility and authorizing grants based on having met the following criteria: a) Documentation of participation by two-thirds (2/3) of property owners in sharing the costs of road maintenance. b) Presentation of paid invoices for road improvements in the current year; c) Presentation of before and after pictures.”

Grant applications need to be in by September 30th, and the actual grant will reimburse property owners. Anyone applying to the program should note that the road maintenance group is “solely” responsible for the administration and supervision of annual work programs and related budget. Further to that point, the municipality states within the bylaw that it will not “will have no responsibility, obligation or exercise any degree of operational control with respect to maintenance of the affected roads.”

Highlands East says that the grants are not guaranteed, saying that due to budgeting constraints the council can pass a resolution stopping the program.

The formula Highlands East uses to determine eligibility equals to $150 for every kilometre of road and $10 for every property on that road.