Some Northeast Town capital projects have been shelved by council for 2020 construction season

NORTHEAST TOWN – Following a review of the three over-budget tender results for the Northeast Town’s Connecting Link project, council has put some capital projects on the chopping block for this year.

The tenders for the municipality’s Connecting Link project and other municipal work were opened April 8 and were made by: Algoma Bio-Septic, $3,107,690.97; RM Belanger, $3,537,088.50; and Pioneer Construction, $3,799,004.20.

CAO Dave Williamson reminded council that the project included resurfacing the streets from Sims Street (by the Beer Store) to Worthington and Meredith Streets west to the Ministry of Transportation building as well as repaving and the placement of new curbs on the portion of Manitowaning Road from the Hilltop Shell to the recreation centre.

The tender also included a secondary project, the replacement of a water and sewer line on portions of Meredith and Worthington streets (to be paid for by the residents of Little Current who use the water system) and the creation of a sidewalk from the Guardian Pharmacy to the Beer Store.

Of the three tenders received, Algoma Bio-Septic was disqualified as its math did not add up leaving Belanger with the winning tender.

Mr. Williamson explained to council that the roadwork alone was budgeted at $2.2 million.

“At these prices we just don’t have the money to carry out the project,” he said.

By removing the Sim Street sidewalk and Worthington Road waterline replacement, the costs dropped to just over $3 million.

Mr. Williamson also noted that it is unlikely that the new Tim Hortons construction will commence any time soon and suggested deferring the Draper Street sidewalk for this year as well as the Green Bay Road project (grade raise and guard rails) and the Meredith Street drain. This, as well as using $150,000 from the working capital reserve, can make the Connecting Link project work, he explained.

“We have $2 million in (government) funding and a timeline to do it,” the CAO said.

Councillor Jim Ferguson said that since the municipality has been given the funds they had better use them and noted that the traffic should be lighter too, which could be helpful. Councillor Ferguson said that while he’d like to see the Draper Street sidewalk move forward, he’s in favour of the CAO’s proposal.

Councillor Laurie Cook asked about shelving the Meredith Street drain project. Mr. Williamson replied that the drain cannot be done at this time as it is tied up in tribunal hearings.

The sewer line from the Meredith Street intersection to the hospital comes in at $162,000 which will come from a reserve created by the sale of the municipality’s Booseneck subdivision lots. Replacing Meredith Street’s aging cast iron water line will cost $394,192 from the Little Current water reserve which will leave $600,000 remaining in that reserve.

A motion accepting staff’s recommendation on how to proceed with the Connecting Link project, and other capital projects, passed.

The Northeast Town’s 2020 constructions projects are: Connecting Link: resurface and replace curbs on Meredith Street, Worthington Street and Manitowaning Road including upgrades to the sewer and water on Meredith Street, Belanger Construction, $3,033,320 (plus HST); Green Bush Road: widening, culverts and hard surfacing, JI Enterprises, $480,000; and the lagoon expansion, Algoma Bio-Septic Inc., $1,719,058 (plus HST).