City gets a jump on con­struc­tion sea­son

Staff given green light to start is­su­ing ten­ders, re­quests for pri­or­ity pro­jects

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - GORD YOUNG

North bay city politi­cians have given staff a green light to get go­ing on mil­lions of dol­lars worth of cap­i­tal pro­jects ahead of the 2019 bud­get.

The move will al­low staff to start is­su­ing ten­ders and re­quests for pro­pos­als to help en­sure pri­or­ity pro­jects are com­pleted dur­ing the prime con­struc­tion pe­riod of Ju­neoc­to­ber.

The spend­ing ap­proval is of par­tic­u­lar im­por­tance this year be­cause oc­to­ber’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion has de­layed bud­get de­lib­er­a­tions.

“This gives staff the op­por­tu­nity to gain an early start on key cap­i­tal pro­jects while also giv­ing city coun­cil the op­por­tu­nity to see the com­plete an­nual bud­get be­fore fi­nal ap­proval,” states a staff re­port to coun­cil.

The spend­ing ap­proval, which amounts to half of last year’s to­tal cap­i­tal al­lo­ca­tion, is more than $15 mil­lion, in­clud­ing about $9.8 mil­lion in gen­eral cap­i­tal fund­ing and $5.4 mil­lion in wa­ter and waste­water cap­i­tal fund­ing.

The re­port does not iden­tify spe­cific pro­jects, but notes those that will move for­ward will be tracked and iden­ti­fied to coun­cil dur­ing the up­com­ing cap­i­tal bud­get talks.

coun. mark King voiced his sup­port for the move, but noted that the city should be mind­ful of threats posed by cli­mate change when map­ping out cap­i­tal spend­ing, par­tic­u­larly wa­ter and sewer pro­jects.

“From a cap­i­tal stand­point, I’ll be watch­ing closely to see that money is spent on ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture,” he said, high­light­ing an on­go­ing flood­ing is­sue in the sov­er­eign drive area as an ex­am­ple.

a re­cent study sug­gests most cana­dian cities have yet to as­sess the threat posed by cli­mate change, de­spite be­ing the most ex­posed to any weather dis­as­ters it could cause.

a sur­vey of 63 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of all sizes from coast to coast found ma­jor gaps in how most are pre­par­ing for com­ing con­di­tions and in how they are re­duc­ing their con­tri­bu­tion to the prob­lem.

“cities are the most vul­ner­a­ble gov­ern­ment to cli­mate change in canada but have the least re­sources in or­der to man­age the prob­lem, so it’s im­per­a­tive that they have some strat­egy or plan,” said Ja­son Thistleth­waite, a univer­sity of Water­loo pro­fes­sor and co-au­thor of the pa­per pub­lished in the jour­nal cli­matic change.

Thistleth­waite and his col­leagues mea­sured the plans against 46 in­di­ca­tors that in­clude base­line in­for­ma­tion, goals, im­ple­men­ta­tion, eval­u­a­tion and pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“al­most all plans failed to in­clude an as­sess­ment of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s vul­ner­a­bil­ity to spe­cific cli­mate change im­pacts,” the pa­per says.

only seven com­mu­ni­ties had iden­ti­fied spe­cific neigh­bour­hoods that might be vul­ner­a­ble. a dozen iden­ti­fied spe­cific lo­cal in­dus­tries at risk.

The study found many cities hadn’t done enough re­search to be able to write a com­pre­hen­sive plan.

With files from the Cana­dian Press.

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