Early budget nod for water utility works

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has given early 2015 budget approval to five projects.

Some upgrades to Greater Vernon’s water system are getting an early start.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has given early 2015 budget approval to five projects.

“The big challenge for the engineering department is to get prices,” said Zee Marcolin, utility manager, adding that competitive bids can often be received prior to the budget being finalized March 31.

“We want to continue with the work in a timely manner and get good prices.”

The projects include $700,000 for the Claremont water connection in Okanagan Landing, $660,000 for a Highway 6 water main replacement, $490,000 for the Pleasant Valley Road water main replacement, $400,000 for the Aberdeen low level outlet and $20,000 for a bleach tank at the Mission Hill treatment plant.

Marcolin says that the Aberdeen outlet and the bleach tank must be addressed because of ongoing safety concerns.

However, director Gyula Kiss questioned giving early approval to the projects.

“We haven’t seen the 2015 budget yet,” he said.

“I don’t like to see something that still requires approval of the whole budget.”

However, other committee members insist that early budget approval is standard.

“I think all jurisdictions basically do the same thing. It’s about timing,” said Juliette Cunningham, chairperson.