Township council will proceed with repairs to three bridges even though the projects will cost roughly $760,000 more than initially anticipated.
Three reports detailing the municipality’s tender process for the projects were included on the agenda for the May 13 meeting of the public works and facilities committee.
Bridge 40 (on Sideroad 17A) — $39,500 initially budgeted, lowest tender at $205,085;
Bridge 22 (Concession 2 Thorah) — $375,000 initially budgeted, lowest tender at $837,413; and,
Bridge 34 (Concession 1) — $108,450 initially budgeted, lowest tender at $235,375.
While the report notes that the projects could proceed by utilizing funding secured through the federal gas tax, those prices were enough to prompt Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden to ask for a staff report detailing a “big-picture view” of that reserve and the impact these projects will have.
“I think we all had minor heart attacks reading these reports,” Mayor Bath-Hadden said.
When that report came forward during the slate of meetings on May 27, Treasurer Laura Barta noted that the municipality actually had to ask for an extension to spend some of the money received through the federal gas tax.
“Projects for bridges and culverts rehabilitation or replacement have traditionally taken more than one year to complete. At the end of 2018, we anticipated an additional $613,727 would have been paid out based on the commitments and we would have been in good shape,” the report reads.
“Due to contract and design delays, we requested and were given an extension on the 2013 spending shortfall. The Township will need to spend a minimum of $406,500 in 2019 to remain compliant with the agreement. An additional $341,000 must be spent in 2020, $357,000 in 2021. $366,000 in 2022 and $391,000 in 2023.”
“Leaving it sit for years untouched, we’re at significant risk of losing our funding,” Barta added.
That was enough for members of council to push the projects this year.
“We need to get these bridges done before they’re in worse condition and end up costing us more,” said Ward 4 Councillor Cria Pettingill.
“We should spend our gas tax money before we lose it,” added Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell.
Back in April, members of council were also informed that the replacement of four other bridges and a culvert was going to cost $290,000 more than budgeted.
Those projects included:
Bridge 2 (on Concession 5 Brock, south of Sunderland) — $130,500 initially budgeted, lowest tender at $205,460;
Bridge 8 (St. John Street in Cannington) and Culvert 318 (near Wilfrid) – $208,260 initially budgeted, lowest tender at $292,020; and,
Bridge 9 (Laidlaw Street in Cannington) and Bridge 42 (Concession 9 Brock) – $188,720 initially budgeted, lowest tender at $323,136.