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On Monday, city council approved a recommendation from staff to award a contract to Kerr Wood Leidal to develop a Sewer Master Plan. The plan is not only to identify sewer infrastructure that is in need of repair, but also to provide a complete model of the sewer system, integrate the infrastructure into a geographic information system (GIS) and develop a five to 10-year capital plan for infrastructure upgrades based on the findings of the plan.
Council committed to developing the plan earlier this year after hearing numerous complaints from residents about sewer backups following the two heavy rainfall events in late June/early July. Development of the plan is expected to commence early next year and take 10 to 12 months to complete. It will be funded through the sewer utility fund.
On Monday, council also approved the reallocation of funding to cover cost over runs of approximately $100,000 on a roadworks project on 110 Avenue between Eighth and 10 Streets. The project was approved in this year’s capital plan, and was estimated to cost $918,400, and would be funded jointly by the City of Dawson Creek ($804,005) and local residents ($114,395).
However, the project has gone over budget mainly due to challenges with the road grade, staff reported. There was very little grade on the existing road, which had contributed to its poor condition, and so crews were forced to create grade by grinding out significant portions of the road with an asphalt grinder at a significant cost that was unaccounted for in the original project budget estimates. Other areas of the road also required more
asphalt than what was budgeted for to build up the road, which also increased costs.
Taking into account debt servicing costs, the project is now estimated to cost $1,018,691.
Staff had investigated reducing the scope of another roadworks project along 17 Street between 89 Avenue and the Imperial Access Road in order to complete the 110 Avenue project. However, the projects are funded through two separate borrowing bylaws, and under provincial legislation, funding from borrowing bylaws can only be transferred between capital projects in very specific circumstances. City staff were advised by their provincial counterparts that this circumstance would not qualify, and that if the City were to proceed, it would need to obtain a legal interpretation, bylaw amendments and inspector approval to support the transfer of funding.
Given the timeline for the project and the uncertainty surrounding approval of that transaction, City staff instead recommended the reallocation of the $493,187 the City received in Community Works Gas Tax funding. The Gas Tax is a federal government transfer payment that is put into the general revenue to be used for specific capital projects such as public transit and community energy systems. Development of pedestrian in infrastructure also qualifies, so it was recommended that the sidewalk portion of the 110 Avenue project, estimated to cost $343,315, be funded through the Gas Tax so that borrowed money could be freed up to cover the cost overruns.
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