Lift sta­tion up­grades dou­ble in cost

Car­bon­ear coun­cil votes to move ahead with work

The Compass - - NEWS - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­

Planned up­grades to the lift sta­tion in Car­bon­ear will be more costly than ini­tially an­tic­i­pated, but the town be­lieves the costs will only rise higher if the mat­ter isn’t dealt with soon.

That’s why coun­cil­lors voted at the Jan. 19 meet­ing to ac­cept a bid of ap­prox­i­mately $574,000. That’s almost $286,000 more than the bud­geted fig­ure for the project, which the provin­cial gov­ern­ment is jointly fund­ing with the town. The town is on the hook for 20 per cent of the cost.

Town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis told coun­cil the in­creased cost likely means it will not be able to spend as much on wa­ter and sewer and paving up­grades for Le­Marchant Street as ini­tially planned.

Ac­cord­ing to di­rec­tor of pub­lic works Brian O’Grady, pumps for the lift sta­tion have aged and given the town some trou­ble in re­cent years. The lift sta­tion at the bot­tom of Pike’s Lane was first in­stalled in 1989.

“The horse­power ca­pa­bil­ity of (the pumps) to han­dle the vol­ume is not there,” he told The Com­pass last week, not­ing lift sta­tion main­te­nance has proven costly over time. “There’s been growth over the years since the sta­tion was first put in.”

The up­grades would cre­ate an above­ground sys­tem that will work well for the town “if-and-when” the town un­der­takes sewage treat­ment, “which we all will be do­ing even­tu­ally,” said O’Grady.

“The whole pump­ing sys­tem, backup gen­er­a­tor and elec­tri­cal sys­tem, that will all be new.”

Davis told coun­cil last week the only other op­tion would be to re­tender the project with dif­fer­ent spec­i­fi­ca­tions in or­der to re­duce the cost.

Coun­cil­lors de­cided it would not be worth­while to fur­ther de­lay the work.

“We’ll pay in other ways, be­tween main­te­nance and staff and what­ever else,” noted Coun. Ed Goff.

O’Grady was not at the Jan. 19 meet­ing, but when asked for his thoughts on coun­cil’s as­sess­ment that it’s best to get this work done now rather than wait, O’Grady said he’s in agree­ment with that no­tion.

“I would like to have seen it done this fall to be hon­est, be­cause our sys­tem over there now has given us some trou­ble and is at risk of fail­ure, which would be a sig­nif­i­cant con­cern for us.”

The Depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs still needs to give its stamp of ap­proval on ac­cept­ing the higher-than-an­tic­i­pated ten­der. As­sum­ing that works out for the town, O’Grady ex­pects it will take 16 weeks to get the prod­uct de­liv­ered to Car­bon­ear.

“Some of the ini­tial con­crete work and ground work can be done while wait­ing, and then of course once it ar­rives four months down the road, then there’s the in­stal­la­tion time. So we’re still talk­ing six months away be­fore it’s fin­ished.”

Un­til then, O’Grady hopes the lift sta­tion as it cur­rently ex­ists will not present any fur­ther prob­lems for the town.

“We’re just watch­ing it closely and tak­ing care of it and nurs­ing it along, so to speak.”

Photo by An­drew Robin­son/The Com­pass

Planned up­grades for the lift sta­tion at the bot­tom of Pike’s Lane in Car­bon­ear will be go­ing ahead, pend­ing ap­proval from the Depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs on a ten­der that’s come in well over the bud­geted cost.

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