City gets a jump on construction season
Staff given green light to start issuing tenders, requests for priority projects
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.