Whitecourt Town Council found themselves backed into a corner this week when discussing an invoice they received from CN Rail to pay for track repairs.
A hit and run occurred on December 28th, 2019 that damaged the railway crossing at Dahl Drive. CN Rail had to replace the entire overhead light and cantilever assembly of the railway crossing warning system.
CN Police were unable to find the party responsible. When that occurs, under the Canadian Transporation Agency Board Order R-27884, CN then invoices the Road Authority responsible for maintenance of the railway crossing, which in this case is the Town of Whitecourt, and they have to pay the costs associated with damages.
The Town is now on the hook to pay the $43,201.21 invoice, something Mayor Maryann Chichak and council wasn’t happy about but say the Town has no choice. “We’re on the hook for it and we recognize that and unfortunately all municipalities across Canada are responsible for those types of incidents and it’s unfortunate but it is what it is.”
A claim for the incident was sent to the town’s insurer for consideration. Administration is still waiting to hear back from insurance and is hopeful that the costs will be covered. If they are not covered, the money will come from the town’s infrastructure reserve.