Airport project proceeds

A new crew is taking off with upgrades at Vernon Regional Airport.

City employees will be responsible for a $1.3 million project at the Tronson Road facility after bids from contractors came in over budget.

“I commend staff for coming up with a solution other than saying, ‘We won’t do it,’” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

The tender for this project closed May 25 and of the two bids received, the lowest was $1.5 million.

“Based on the low bid and the additional cost of engineering at $180,000, the estimated total project cost is $1,680,704,” said James Rice, public works manager, in a report.

“This is $509,004 over the available funding and may be a result of the current market conditions, receiving only two tender bids or the perceived risks associated with airport and creek related construction projects.”

A provincial grant of $823,700 was received in 2016 for the project and no further provincial funding is available for the shortfall, so city staff considered options to get the work done to meet Transport Canada deadlines by Sept. 15.

“Staff are confident the project can be completed using a combination of city crews and contract forces,” said Rice.

The $1.3 million is $150,000 over available funding but council approved the additional funds Monday.