Council has green-lit a $4 million Northwest Drainage Channel upgrading project, which the city says will prevent overflows if major storms hit Lloydminster.
The northwest channel is one of Lloydminster’s main draining outlets, it runs from 75 Avenue at Highway 16 to Neale Lake West. It is responsible for the drainage of the north half of the city plus part of the County of Vermillion River. Three existing culverts will be replaced at 3 different locations. Re-grading will be done to certain parts of the channel as well. According to a 2015 stormwater plan, the project was estimated to be $3,787,000.
On Monday, City Council awarded Top Grade Construction the contract for just over $3.5 million plus tax. A 10 per cent contingency allowance was also agreed upon in the amount of just over $350,000, which will put the project over budget. The project total comes to a little over $4 million. Council has agreed to fund the amount that’s over budget through a replacement reserve. Councillor Aaron Buckingham wasn’t in agreeance with showcasing extra money to the contractors.
“It’s an interesting thing because here we have a budgeted item and then you have a contingency plan which in this case is 350,000 dollars, no small contingency plan. If you put this on the table what does a contractor look at ” oh we can do this, We have an extra 150 grand to play with,” I am not certain we should have that out there.”
Top Grade will cost the City the lowest amount between two other companies in the running. Buckingham believes it’s a tricky thing, because he says he understands the importance of having the contingency plan in place.
“If you don’t then do the contractors start adding 10 per cent into their bids anyways to make sure they’re over? I mean really, it’s a tough one to win on.”
The project will affect the flows that drain into the Neale Lake West. The City is awaiting approval for an Aquatic Habitat Protection Permit from the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency. The permit will outline steps that will have to be taken to protect the water body during construction.
The City is aiming for construction to begin in January 2019 and end in August of the same year.