Heavy November rains delay IPE grounds sewer project

Plenty of November rain has resulted in delays to the Interior Provincial Exhibition storm line replacement

Heavy November rains delay IPE grounds sewer project

Mother Nature has caused a considerable delay in a major Armstrong project.

Plenty of November rain has resulted in delays to the Interior Provincial Exhibition storm line replacement.

“Further approval from the Ministry of Environment was required due to rising Deep Creek water levels,” said public works committee chairperson Coun. Steven Drapala.

The ministry issued approval on Nov. 24 to conduct repairs and that work is being completed.

The circumstances have led to the project now being $55,000 over budget. The funding will come from parks and recreation reserves.

Budget amendments

The city unanimously agreed to amend its 2016 budget by nearly $185,000 due to changes of scope or major funding changes in projects (Coun. Linda Werner was absent from the meeting).

Besides the IPE storm sewer replacement costs, $14,500 will be spent from a provincial Small Communities grant to pay for the recent  byelection.

“Obviously nobody could have foreseen we were going to need a byelection,” said Mayor Chris Pieper, in reference to the sudden death in May of longtime councillor Ron (Sully) O’Sullivan.

The water dam safety review and repairs to the Silver Star Lake outlet were originally budgeted for $77,000 but the revised combined cost will be about $142,000, resulting in an additional $65,000 being required.

The fire hall renovation will see the city’s share of approved change orders exceed the approved contingency by $50,000.

The net affect for the changes amounts to $184,500, to be funded from grants and reserves.

Elsewhere from council…

The city announced its five-year financial plan timeline.

Discussion of budget items will begin Dec. 12. Staff will prepare a draft budget in December and January. A public meeting to unveil the proposed budget and obtain input will be held Monday, March 13. Final adoption is expected on Monday, April 10.

The city’s application for a Canada 150 infrastructure grant to help fund the development of Huculak Park was denied.

Phase 1, at a cost of $80,000, is funded in the 2016 budget through short-term borrowing. The grant application for $56,000 would have meant fast-tracking Phases 1 and 2. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in the spring.

The city’s Rathfriland sister city committee has been voted back for a two-year term, but are welcoming a new member.

Carol Cooney, a great great granddaughter of Rathfriland-born Catherine O’Hare Schubert, has joined to represent the family. Schubert is the link between the two communities.

Returned to the committee are Pieper, Pat Brinnen, Jessie Ann Gamble, Patti Noonan, Louise Everest and John Trainor.