Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Rising Dam costs, potential curb side recycling plans make for questions at Council session

Monday Night the City's Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben outlined the
Capital spending and purchasing plans for the year ahead

The roll out of the 2019 Capital Spending plan provided the financial blue print for the year ahead with a number of initiatives set to move forward through a range of funding options.

Corinne Bomben, the City's Financial Officer guided Council members through the list of projects that are on the horizon and how the city plans approach them.

CFO Bomben's report for Council on
Capital Spending for 2019

(click to enlarge)

Among the notable projects, the second phase of the City's water supply project with the construction of the Woodworth Lake Dam with financing for the sixteen million dollar project provided through a grant, Legacy funding and a loan.

On the topic of the Dam, Councillor Niesh asked for more background on the rising costs for the project and why it was now listed at two and half times more than previously declared.

Ms. Bomben noted that the timeline of grant development provides for challenges on providing financial scope at times, she also noted that the location of the dam complicates the costing. In addition she noted how the city has decided to include the prospect of future electrical generation as part of the dam proposal which required changes to the overall conceptual designs.

She also made note as to how the city does have its Legacy financing to help with the additional costs.

When it comes to the city's plans to generate electricity from the dam, that would seem to be more of a longer term ambition. It was a theme which did note make for any of the conservation of Monday evening, with no indication to this point from the Mayor or Council members as to whether BC Hydro has approved of the purchase of any power, or if any discussions with the utility have taken place related to the generation of power once the dam is in operation.

Some of the other items on the municipal to do list include completion of the  expansion of the landfill,  replacement for the boilers at the Civic Centre and installation of chlorine and ammonia ventilation systems.

The Airport Ferry will be getting a refit in 2019 and the city will need to provide for alternative transportation to and from the airport during that period.

There is also a need to replace the large garbage truck and the city is considering the introduction of curb side recycling which will be part of the review for the truck purchase. Staff is also recommending an increase to the roads budget for paving requirements in the year ahead.

Councillor Adey had a question on the curb side recycling theme, noting that there is a private individual offering such a service in the community at the moment and whether the City has plans to engage with the operator related to the city's plans and to include him in the city's process.

Mr. Adey was advised that the City would consider including the private operator in the discussion.

Councillor Cunningham asked for some further background on the plans for the curb side recycling plan, he was advised that the city is still exploring its plans moving forward.

Councillor Mirau offered up his praise for staff on putting together their capital plan for the year ahead and he also asked to what the operational savings of the boiler replacement would be. Ms. Bomben did not have that information on hand and stated she could bring them to a future council session.

From the documentation included as part of her Report to Council, the final numbers show that close to thirty three million dollars has been allocated for Capital spending in the year ahead.

The Capital Projects budget for 2019
(Click to enlarge)
You can review her presentation to Council and their follow up inquiries through the City's Video Archive starting at the 29 minute minute mark.

For more notes related to Monday's Council session see our Council Timeline Feature here.

Further background on the Monday session can be explored through our Council archive.

A wider overview of City Council Discussion themes can be found from our Council Discussion Archive.

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