A significant jump in costs for a White Rock reservoir project raised some eyebrows at council’s April 20 meeting.
The project to improve the inlet (water intake) and controls for the Roper Reservoir, being conducted by Tybo Constructors Ltd., had been approved in September at a price of $316,813.
Additional work staff requested council sign off on – including reservoir coating, piping and valves, boosted the cost of the contract by $130,000 to $446,813.
Adding in projected construction costs, consulting, engineering and concrete coring will bring the total to $515,000.
Constructed in 1971, and last inspected in 2010, the reservoir holds a total capacity of 1.14 million litres of drinking water, or 18.6 per cent of the available storage capacity for the city, serving mostly the eastern section.
Council approved the request, which also included making up the budget shortfall by deferring a water main upgrade on Coldicutt Avenue until 2025, but not before asking questions of engineering and municipal operations director Jim Gordon.
“I’m concerned,” Coun. Scott Kristjanson said. “What’s the benefit of this for the city and why was the estimate so off?”
“We can’t look in the reservoir ahead of time, until we drain it,” Gordon said. “The benefit is, we do it now, or we’ll have to schedule another shut-down maybe a year, two years in advance and do it then.”
Gordon added that draining for the anticipated project work revealed other work that needed to be done sooner or later on the reservoir.
“We knew there would be extra work to be done – we just didn’t know how much,” he said.
“We would like to do that work now, while we have the reservoir drained and while we have the opportunity,” he told council. “We don’t want structural issues, leaking, (or) those sorts of things.”