Construction of the new wastewater treatment plant is on the horizon as the city moves to the final planning stages for the project.
The city has agreed to enter into a Integrated Project Delivery Contract with four companies for the design and construction of the facility.
ISL Engineering and Land Services will act as the consultant, Chandos-Bird Joint Venture will be the contractor, Suez Water Technologies & Solutions will be the technology vendor and Magna IV Engineering will be the electrical, controls and system vendor on the project.
Director of Planning and Engineering Terry Burton gave a presentation to council on the current status of the project. He says they about 89 per cent done with the planning stages and expects a validation report to come before council at the Governance and Priorities Meeting on August 10.
The four were chosen to be a part of the Integrated Project Delivery method in July 2019. Mayor Gerald Aalbers says the method is a collaborative effort and helps cut down unexpected costs.
“In the traditional model, people bid for the projects and in some cases there’s additional profit and that becomes an unbudgeted cost. When administration brings it back in August, we should see a fairly firm number, if not a very firm number, and hopefully that project should come in under-budget to what they budget for.”
Burton mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic did have an impact on the project and has caused some delays. However, through technology and the use of programs like Zoom and Microsoft Teams he says they’ve managed to minimize the delays.
Aalbers says he appreciates the effort put in by staff behind the scenes to make sure the project makes progress.
“It’s in everyone’s best interest to keep this project moving forward and I appreciate how everyone has stepped up to ensure this project continues to move. I don’t feel that we’ve been overly affected by COVID at this point, had we been in the construction phase it would have been a little bit tougher, but at this phase technology has helped us to keep things moving.”
The $81.5 million dollar project is being funded by the federal government, both provincial governments and the city. The city is expected to cover $32.5 million of the costs. As part of the funding agreement with the federal government, the project is expected to be up and running by December 1, 2023.
The city had requested for the deadline to be December 31 but Aalbers says the one month difference shouldn’t be an issue.
“If we were at November 15 and basically one month away from full commissioning, I’m hoping we won’t have a problem with Environment Canada and the regulators provincially and federally. You take what you can get and we have until December 1, 2023 which is so close that I think we’ll be fine.”
A rough timeline given at the meeting mentioned ground and utility work to begin this fall with construction expected to start in spring 2021.