Water and sewer renewal work scaled back to stay within budget

Thompson city council had to scale back the water and sewer main renewals it planned to get done this year because the only response to the city’s request for tenders came in higher than the budgeted amount.

The city had been aiming to get new water and sewer mains replaced on Staghorn Drive as well as new water mains along Juniper Drive, but the total cost would have been more than double the budgeted amount. After the Juniper work was removed from the equation, they voted in favour of awarding the tender for the Staghorn Drive work to Accurate HD Ltd. at a price of $1,729,854.50 plus taxes at their May 25 meeting.

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“The tenders came in dramatically higher than had been budgeted by council and the information was brought back to committee as well as to council for a decision,” said city manager Anthony McInnis. “The option that council elected to go with was the renewal of the water and sewer along Staghorn Drive which can be done within this year’s allocated budget.”

Councillors Duncan Wong and Jeff Fountain were the only ones who voted against awarding the contract. Wong said he would have preferred to postpone the work in hopes of getting a better price.

“The maintenance issues on a street that’s not repaired could end up costing us a lot more,” said Mayor Collen Smook, while Coun. Brian Lundmark said that, with 27 miles of water and sewer lines to replace, the city can't afford to delay.

“It’s work that we need to get done eventually and prices of everything aren’t going down,” Lundmark said.

“We can’t spend money we don’t have,” said deputy mayor Les Ellsworth. “We can only do what we have budgeted for. That’s it. I wish we could do Juniper Drive. I wish we could do every other street.”

The replacement of the water and sewer mains on Staghorn Drive is expected to be completed within 45 days of the work starting.

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