It's already on an extended construction schedule and if an aside in a Social Media post from Mayor Lee Brain proves to be prophetic, the City's Water Dam project may not be ready for the ribbon cutting until April of 2022.
Mr. Brain offered up that hedge on the most recent completion date of the end of this year as part of his update on Monday, coming as part of his information relay related to the City's scaling down of the BOIL WATER notice to that of a WATER ADVISORY.
The Mayor observed In his note that Weather and COVID delays are the reasons for the potential extension to the completion date.
Something that did not appear to be on the horizon as recently as August and September when he and the City's Financial Officer Corinne Bomben were both remaining bullish on a year end completion.
A deadline for completion that was already a fair bit down the road than previously anticipated
The large scale infrastructure project was first announced as part of the rebuild Rupert program.
As the years have evolved, that hopeful suggestion of regular progress reports began to wane, with the topic of the status of the construction of the dam one that has not been a fullsome conversation theme for Council for a fair bit of time now.
Things started out well, with the Hays 2.0 presentation, as well as a video presentation that outlined the challenges the city faces with its major infrastructure needs.
However, from those informative first days, the back end of the infrastructure program has seen less and less frequent updates or explanations as to the delays facing the key piece of the water supply requirements.
Add on the near three years of Off and On Boil Water Notices which began in December of 2018 and residents may be wondering if perhaps a full and complete overview for the public from their civic officials might be timely ... what with the potential for an additional four month delay ahead.
The last significant notes came in the fall of 2020 when it was noted that the dam would be completed by the end of 2021, with the City showcasing a video to highlight the project to date.
Towards more than a single line in a social media post, Mayor Brain, City Council members and the staff which are involved in the project should outline when things began to go sideways on the completion plans, what the cause of the delays have been and if these delays have added to the cost of the project and if so, what the City has in mind to make up the difference.
Someone may even want to suggest an extensive report/review/audit be conducted to chronicle the path of the project for transparency and provide a copy of that document on the city website for the public to examine.
Large scale projects such as the dam are going to have challenges and delays and people are pretty understanding considering the 100 years of infrastructure that needs replacing; however the need to keep the public fully informed on the progress and accountable for delays is part of the job for Council members.
The Mayor has provided for the early warning, it might be best for the Council members to get out ahead of the worst case scenario of a potential delay and provide a complete review and put the entire scope of the project and its problems up for public examination.
The next opportunity for a public overview would be next Monday, when Council hosts their month end Council session for October.
You can trace much of the history for the city's water infrastructure projects through our archive pages below: