Lift station upgrades double in cost
Carbonear council votes to move ahead with work
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.”
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.