Trunk line catches a break
No Part II Orders for Northwest sewer project
Well, a few more people and we won’t finish the Northwest trunk.” City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Ric McGee
The Northwest sanitary sewer project appears to have finally caught a break with no Part II Orders lodged with the city or the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).
According to the MOE, The Environmental Assessment Act has provisions that allow an interested person, Aboriginal community or government agency to ask for a higher level of assessment for a class environmental assessment project if they feel that there are outstanding issues that have not been adequately addressed. The deadline for Part II Orders has now come and gone with director of development ser vices Ron Taylor saying that as of Tuesday ( June 11) none had been requested. That would come as a relief to the city since Part II Orders can delay a project for several months.
On Tuesday, councillors also approved an amendment to the Stantec purchase order for the project ($ 196,411.13) and gave the green light to finish the detailed design and the tendering for construction of the under river portion and decommissioning the Uniroyal pumping station.
However, the vote was far from unanimous, at 11-5.
Ward 12 Coun. Gord James, who fought for an over-the-river crossing, wanted to know where the nearly $200,000 was coming from. He wanted to ensure there would be no cost to residential taxpayers and Taylor said that was correct. Nor did he want to give Stantec any more money, at one point saying Stantec had "constantly taken us to the cleaners here."
Ward 10 Coun. Pat Dunn, though, pointed out that there would be a charge to water and wastewater users.
Taylor said approximately $1.9 million of costs has been built into the water and wastewater budget, per the adopted 2013 water and wastewater budget.
Ward 4 Coun. Glenn Campbell said no one has answered the question of whether the city needs a federal environmental assessment. Taylor said the city's position is that it does not. Campbell said if there was a requirement, there would be additional cost but Taylor said the money change order on Tuesday would cover the cost.
Taylor said despite Tuesday's action, the overall estimated project budget remains at $16.9 million, with contingency already built into the overall budget estimate to complete the entire project.
Ward 9 Coun. Andy Luff implored his fellow councillors to approve the resolutions, saying "we're in the home stretch."
As 'no' votes added up, Mayor Ric McGee said "well, a few more people and we won't finish the Northwest trunk." He said everybody had to accept some responsibility for cost over-runs but "either we finish the Northwest trunk or we let it sit in the ground and rot. What a fine dilemma. For the sake of $ 196,411.13, let's leave $ 12.5 million in infrastructure in the ground."
Ward 2 Coun. Emmett Yeo said he hoped council had learned from its experience with the trunk when it came to cost containment strategies.